Darren Johnson AM: Boris bus "discredited"

02 October 2014

New figures from Transport for London have confirmed that the Boris Bus is using almost twice as much fuel on some routes and therefore emitting almost twice as much climate change gas (CO2), than the Mayor previously claimed. The Mayor said in 2009 that the New Bus for London would be “15% more fuel efficient than current London hybrids” and added that these buses would be “slashing pollution and fuel consumption”. (1)

The Mayor said that their test results from Millbrook testing facility gave them 11.6mpg, whilst the on-the-road results range between 6.2mpg and 7.4mpg. That is between 53% and 64% of what was ‘achieved’ in the test conditions. The Mayor’s emission figures for pollutants are based upon the Millbrook tests, but one of the three tests achieved 576mpg with near zero emissions because it ran almost purely on the electric motor. This has not been replicated in real life.

Darren Johnson AM said:

“The Mayor has blown Londoners' money on a vanity project which is more expensive than other hybrid buses, but no better for the environment. The Boris bus is heavier, hotter and carries less people than some other double decker hybrids. We have waited a year for the evidence to back the Mayor’s claims for this bus and it is real let down. Whoever is the next Mayor after Boris, they must stop purchasing any more of these buses and invest in a new generation of zero emission electric buses instead.”

“The Mayor must commission on-the-road emission tests for all his new buses, including the new generation of Euro 6. We know that the manufacturer’s claims about fuel efficiency and emissions are not always accurate. Londoners need reassurance that they have the cleanest bus fleet available, as the health impacts of dirty air are one of the biggest public health emergencies we face.”

ENDS

Darren Johnson AM is available for comment.

1) TfL press release on New Routemaster Dec 2009 http://www.tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2009/december/wrightbus-to-design-and-build-new-bus-for-london

2) TfL measured 11.6mpg at Millbrook testing facility

3) The Mayor answered a formal question from Darren Johnson AM on the New Bus's performance: http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/que...

4) The latest NBfL weighs around 12,190kg. This compares to 11,265kg for a B5LH Euro 6; 11,900kg for E400H and 11,500kg for ADL Euro 6

5) Darren Johnson AM published a buzzfeed on the New Bus for London, available here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/darrenjohnsonam/8-reasons-to-love-and-not-to-lov...