Transport

Boris’s broken buses back to bite him, again

By Oliver Smith 31 January 2017
Summary

Thought the furore over London's Routemaster bus was over? Think again.

For £350,000 a pop, you’d expect London’s New Routemaster buses wouldn’t have all the problems they’ve had.

But from being branded overheating ‘sauna buses’ to their dodgy batteries and an earlier recall over ‘steering problems’, it’s fair to say that the landmark upgrade to London’s iconic buses championed by former Mayor Boris Johnson has been a total disaster.

Now, just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, hundreds of Routemaster buses are being recalled due to safety concerns over their rear doors opening while moving.

Read more: Boris Johnson’s sauna buses get £2m windows

Yes, following a disaster in November when a passenger fell out of one of the shiny new buses it’s been discovered that 423 Routemasters have a ‘software bug’ of sorts.

London's New Routemaster bus has been wracked with issues.

The route of the problem

The issue appears to be a change in the way the rear doors of these buses were originally designed to stay open, with passengers hopping on and off and conductors checking tickets – something which TfL quickly scrapped after Boris left office in order to save £10m a year.

Manufacturer Wrightbus said it’s optimistic that it has solved today’s glitch with an update that’s being rolled out to every bus, but the update has to be applied manually hence the buses being recalled.

Half have already been fixed, but some 200 buses are still being updated.

So hopefully soon all the new Routemaster’s problems will finally be resolved… or will they?

We’re not holding out too much hope.

Read more: Is Boris Johnson’s Routemaster bus his biggest failure?