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Islington Tribune - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 27 November 2009
The last of our bendy buses? It cannot come soon enough

• THERE are many very good reasons why the removal of bendy buses is welcome (The bendy bus blues, November 20). They are quite unsuitable for London roads, causing totally unnecessary traffic jams; they are a bonus for passengers not wishing to pay fares and are hence expensive and a waste of money; and, more importantly, they are extremely uncomfortable for elderly people with poor balance.
Boris promised to cut down on these and he is keeping his word. The new 38 fleet is frequent and comfortable. The service is greatly improved. It is easier for drivers and much more pleasant for passengers.
The sooner the rest of the bendy-bus fleet is replaced the better.
Patricia Braun
Myddelton Square, EC1

• I READ the letter from Jennette Arnold about the withdrawal of the bendy buses with some cynicism. I sent her an email about Transport for London in 2006 to which she never responded, which made me think she is only interested in public utterances which she can use to make a party political point.
She maintains that 72 double-deck buses are longer than the 44 bendy buses they replace. Given that the bendy buses are about twice the length of a standard double-deck bus, her maths is quite clearly in need of some improvement. But the point she forgets is that it is not only length that counts: the bendy buses cannot enter a box junction or pedestrian crossing where any part of their length is in the box, which means effectively that they take up four times the size of a double-deck bus. These bendy buses take far more space on the road than their supporters will admit. So I applaud the return of double-deck buses.
Perhaps Ms Arnold can make a real contribution to life in London by not writing letters which are clearly nonsense but masquerading as balanced comment.
Nicholas Hutton
Address supplied, N1

• I COULD not wait to see the end of the bendy bus, largely but not entirely because I am fed up with paying my fare and watching countless others of all ages simply not paying their fares.
I, too, will monitor the success or otherwise of the change in bus type and will also note whether the income of route 38 is affected by many more people actually paying for their journeys. With so many individuals not paying, I am not surprised that the fares are going up – it’s simple economics.
Jennifer Tripp Black
Halliford Street, N1

• GOOD grief! The politicking has started already.
You can bet a pound to a penny that Jennette Arnold has never travelled on a 38 route, because if she had she would know that people were packed like battery hens into these bendy buses, with people pushing on so they didn’t have to pay and using the ensuing crush to pickpocket. Instead of whining and banging on, she should, like thousands of the fare-paying public, be cheering to the rafters that this form of downright thieving has been stopped dead in its tracks.
If she has got so much time on her hands now to “monitor the service on route 38 closely”, what has she been doing since the inception of these buses to monitor and quantify the loss of revenue in proportion to the densely crowded status of this route? I would hazard a guess that the amount of revenue saved and generated by everyone who gets on the bus having to pay the fare will not only more than pay for more Routemasters (which by the way cause less congestion than the bendy buses) but leave enough to pay for an army of conductors to patrol a couple of the other routes still using this thieves’ paradise transport – 73 and 29, in particular – and thus prevent abuse of the system. I have never seen fraud on such a massive scale. It must be costing the companies millions.
I only hope someone has now got the political bottle to insist that the children’s pass is valid only during school hours to and from school, and that the photograph is that of the child. I’m sick of seeing 6ft men with beards and/or full-blown acne claiming to be children and using these passes, as well as  young women, complete with prams and babies, using them to trot to and from the West End or Wood Green Shopping City.
Ken Livingstone brought in this form of thieves’ transport, Boris Johnson is getting rid of it.
B Knight
Tompion House, EC1

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Islington Tribune, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to Deadline for letters is midday Wednesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld . Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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