New Buses for London

MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Question By: 
Richard Tracey
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Where will the extra 540 buses, that will be on London's streets by the end of the decade, be deployed?


Answer for New Buses for London

Answer for New Buses for London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Dick, thank you for your question.  What TfL seems to mean when it talks about an extra 540 buses is that the capacity of the bus network will be increased by 5% in net kilometres between now and 2020.  That is equivalent to a 500-vehicle rise in the bus fleet.  They will be all over the city.  I cannot give you the exact routes they will ply but they will generally correspond to demand across the whole of London.


Richard Tracey AM:  It is very good news.  You will remember that the Transport Committee did recommend to you that you should look at far more buses in the next few years because we did fear that there would be a shortfall.  This is very good news.  Of course, it is going to be part of your legacy after 2016.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Just another part of it, exactly.


Richard Tracey AM:  Just another part.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I know.  I do not know why I forgot to mention it earlier on.  Extraordinary.  There will be a huge expansion in the bus network, which is exactly what Val [Valerie Shawcross AM] has been asking for, as you say.  Good news.


Richard Tracey AM:  Val is of course a colleague I am on the Transport Committee with.  The other thing I was going to ask ‑‑


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  There is nothing they hate more than good news.  They cannot stand it.


Richard Tracey AM:  Will TfL busses be amenable to suggestions from Londoners about particular areas where these buses could be deployed over the next few years?  We do find, seriously, that very often when you suggest to TfL that there are shortfalls in the bus services - and I have some in my constituency and I know colleagues have - they do not seem to listen very carefully to us or assiduously enough.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  That is a very common complaint.  The trouble is that TfL has innumerable demands, “Put a bus stop here”, “Get rid of the bus stop here”, “Do not send it down this street”, “Send it down this street”, “Do not send it down this residential street”.  There are huge pressures on TfL bosses to do this and that.  It is important that they should listen, as far as they possibly can, to the boroughs and respect local opinion.  It is not always possible.


Richard Tracey AM:  I accept that.  There are very good cases sometimes.  I have one part of my constituency where there is a university at Roehampton growing very fast.  We are - not just me but the MP for Putney, Justine Greening - calling for more buses on that particular sector. 


The other thing of course is that I assume a number of these new buses will be hybrid and will possibly be electric.  There are areas of London, particular streets and particular areas, where there are bad pollution problems.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, in Putney High Street.


Richard Tracey AM:  Can I trust that those will be put into those areas like Putney High Street?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes.  Most of the new buses, obviously, will have very clean engines.  All the new buses will have very clean engines.  Of the New Bus for London (NBFL) fleet, about two-thirds will be of Euro 6 standard.  The existing ones are Euro 5.  The new ones that are coming on will be Euro 6 and so they will be very clean indeed.  That is what you would expect in areas like Putney High Street.


Richard Tracey AM:  Thank you very much.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I can tell you, by the way, that the fleet is becoming much cleaner generally.  By 2015 the fleet will emit 20% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) than in 2012 ‑‑


Richard Tracey AM:  Thank you.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ because of the changes to the engines.