Drug Dealing on Routemasters (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
June 20, 2001
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


I apologise for the heading that has been given to the question. It is not about drug dealing on Routemasters: it is about safety on Routemasters.

In your draft transport strategy, proposal F34, you say, "Safety is of course vital, and will always be a priority. There must be high standards of safe bus operation, with continued reviews to strengthen the monitoring of safety and vehicle maintenance." You do not go on to say how that can be delivered and exercised. At present, only 4% of London buses have CCTV. If we continue at the current rate of investment in CCTV, it will take five decades to ensure that all buses have it.

You have taxed Londoners some £64 million for preparation for the congestion charge. You did that on the basis that this was to be prepared for and that you recognised that public transport had to be improved before congestion charging could be properly promulgated. I am asking you to give a couple of million of that money to the people of London, to put their money where your mouth has been. I have been in negotiation with bus drivers, conductors and the Transport and General Workers Union and the management, and they are all saying, "We need CCTV cameras, particularly on our priority routes, as soon as possible." You have the money - why don't you do it?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Drug Dealing on Routemasters (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Drug Dealing on Routemasters (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have commissioned a major study on this, which will report by late September. Then we will have to have consultation with the stakeholders - principally the police and the bus operators. The cost of installing CCTV on all 6,500 vehicles is between £15 million and £20 million. Given the size of that procurement, you need a study that will identify the number of cameras per vehicle and the best locations for them; look at the suitability of the available equipment; and review sources of supply and methods of procurement. This is a big procurement, and we need to do the study to get it right. In September, we will know what it will cost, and what sort of programme would be necessary and how long it would take. It will come back to being one of the issues we debate for putting into our budget for transport.