200 New Routemaster buses (1)

MQT on 2014-11-19
Session date: 
November 19, 2014
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


At the TfL Finance & Policy Committee on 14th October 2014 it was revealed that your new routemaster bus has a benefit to cost ratio of 0.2 to 1. Can you explain why you are wasting money on a vanity scheme with such a low ratio?


Answer for 200 New Routemaster buses (1)

Answer for 200 New Routemaster buses (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

There is a strong business case for purchasing a further 200 New Routemaster buses for London. The benefit cost ratio is just one element of a business case.


On top of the financial benefit, the vehicle will replace older buses in the fleet with a state-of-the-art hybrid bus with the cleanest Euro VI engine.  The Euro VI engine reduces NOx by up to 95 per cent compared to a conventional Euro III double deck bus and, because of the more fuel efficient New Routemaster engine, will also cut CO2 significantly. This will make a very significant contribution to improving air quality.


Compared to other hybrid Euro VI buses in the fleet, it will be competitive over its whole life: initial higher capital costs will be offset by its lower fuel consumption and longer working life.


This is before much wider benefits, such as generating jobs in manufacturing and light engineering across the UK, are considered. So focussing solely on a BCR of 0.2 would be quite misleading.