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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 14:33 GMT
Johnson aims to scrap bendy buses
Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson wants more police to patrol buses and rail platforms
Bendy buses should be scrapped and replaced with Routemaster buses with conductors, London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson has said.

The Conservative candidate unveiled his transport manifesto on Monday, ahead of the 1 May elections.

Bendy buses "were never suited to London's roads" and conductors would prevent fare evasion, Mr Johnson said.

Mayor Ken Livingstone's spokeswoman said Mr Johnson's plans would result in a "15% minimum increase in bus fares".

'Iconic bus'

Routemasters stopped serving normal London routes in December 2005. Mr Johnson wants to introduce a new version of the double-decker bus "that will once again give London an iconic bus that Londoners can be proud of".

Each new Routemaster would come with a conductor, comply with EU legislation, have disabled access and run on environmentally-friendly fuel, he said.

He would also scrap bendy buses. "The truth is they were never suited to London's roads and the facts show they have twice as many accidents as normal buses," Mr Johnson said.

A Routemaster stops at Marble Arch on Oxford Street
Routemasters stopped serving normal London routes in 2005

"In addition, open boarding means they have become known as 'free buses', and the facts show they lose almost three times as much fare revenue as other types of bus."

Mr Johnson also said that if he became mayor he would pay for more police officers to patrol buses and railway station platforms.

He said he would encourage union bosses to agree not to strike on the London Underground, in a deal with Tube bosses.

"The London Underground is like no other public service, in that strikes can paralyse the whole city," Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson said he would introduce express orbital bus routes for the capital's outer boroughs that would avoid central London when possible.

To replace all London's 5,000 double deckers and bendy buses with (Mr Johnson's) new bus would cost 600m a year
Ken Livingstone's spokeswoman

He also said he would campaign for better rail services, extend the Oyster card top-up network and provide better information to commuters.

"After eight years of a Labour mayor we too often spend our mornings and evenings in cramped, overcrowded carriages paying some of the highest fares in Europe," Mr Johnson said.

However, Mr Livingstone's spokeswoman said it would cost 108m a year to replace the bendy bus routes with buses which had conductors.

Alan Craig Christian Peoples Alliance & The Christian Party
Boris Johnson
Conservative party
Brian Paddick
Liberal Democrat party
Chris Prior Stop The Congestion Charge party
Damian Hockney
One London party
Dennis Delderfield
New Britain
Gerard Batten UKIP
Ken Livingstone Labour party
Lindsey German
Respect party
Matt O'Connor
English Democrats party
Richard Barnbrook BNP
Sian Berry Green party
Winston McKenzie Independent

"To replace all London's 5,000 double deckers and bendy buses with (Mr Johnson's) new bus would cost 600m a year and require almost doubling bus fares," she said.

"Every Londoner can now be totally clear that Boris Johnson's policy means a minimum 15% increase on their bus fares."

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick said: "Boris's promises to improve trains and the policing of stations show he has no idea what the mayor has control of, British Transport Police and British Rail are beyond the mayor's remit."

Mr Paddick added: "Express buses already exist but Boris probably didn't know that!"

The Green Party's mayoral candidate Sian Berry said: "Johnson has shown that, as someone who doesn't use public transport, he doesn't know much about the real concerns of people who do."

"What we need are practical changes for cheaper, safer, faster and greener transport in London."

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  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

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London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

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London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

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