His nibs, the Emperor of London hated them. “Bendy buses”, he thundered, killed cyclists. But this was pure sophistry. Buses of all kinds kill and injure cyclists. Skip and cement lorries kill more cyclists on London’s streets every year than do buses of any shape or size. The other charge levelled at the bendy is that it’s the “fare-dodgers'” bus. Maybe if the fares in London were reasonable, then people wouldn’t feel the need to dodge them. No? Just a thought.
Bojo is a romantic: he wanted to bring back the Routemaster but not the original, much-loved Routemaster, you understand. He wanted a new Routemaster. He wanted this,
Whenever I see an image of the Boris ‘Routemaster’, I think of that episode of The Simpsons where Homer meets his half-brother, Herb who gives him the task of designing a car that all Americans will love. Homer designs a disaster and ruins Herb in the process. Could this bus be the ruin of Emperor Boris?
Just like a Roman emperor who was born too late, Johnson desperately wants to leave his mark on history (it’s more like a stain in all honesty). To do this, he has produced a series of ideas that have amounted to nothing more than vanity projects. First there was the Boris Bus, then the airport in the Thames Estuary and now the cable car. Where’s Bojo’s Column? How about a hippodrome? I really shouldn’t give him any ideas. He has a reputation for taking the credit for other people’s ideas, after all.
Ordinary double-deckers will ply the routes that the bendies once ran on until the ugly Boris Bus is introduced in…er, I don’t know. Speaking of ordinary double-deckers, one of them went up in flames yesterday.
So farewell the bendy bus, scourge of blustering, floppy-haired, Classics-obsessed windbags and Telegraph bloggers alike. I’m going to miss you in a funny sort of way.