The beginning of the end for the bendy bus

Single deck and double deck buses replace the ultra-long ones 08 December 2008. Transport for London (TfL) today announced that, in line with Mayor Boris Johnson’s key manifesto pledge to phase out bendy buses, three bus routes – 38, 507 and 521 – will no longer use bendy buses when their contracts expire next year.

TfL has awarded new contracts to Go Ahead to operate routes 507 and 521 with 12 metre single deck buses from next summer, and to Arriva to operate route 38 with double deck buses from next autumn, when the current bendy bus contracts expire.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
"During the election, I promised that I would phase out bendy buses, and today I can announce their demise has begun, which means the first bendy buses being removed from our streets next summer.

"Many Londoners, particularly cyclists, see the awkward elongated bulk of the bendy bus as completely unsuitable for the city’s streets, and during the Mayoral election this became a huge issue. I am making sure the buses are removed in the most cost-effective way, and today’s new contract announcement marks the beginning of the end for the bendy bus in London."

In order to maintain an efficient service for passengers on these routes, peak frequencies will be increased. TfL is currently working up detailed timetables for each of the routes.

Route 38
Route 38 runs 24 hours a day between Victoria Station and Clapton Pond with the night service (N38) continuing to Walthamstow. The route will be operated by double decks 24 hours a day from November 2009 (the night service, N38, already uses double decks).

Routes 507 and 521
Routes 507 and 521 are popular commuter services currently operating Mondays to Fridays only. The 507 links Waterloo and Victoria and the 521 links Waterloo and London Bridge.

Both routes will operate with 12 metre single deck buses, which have two sets of doors and can carry 70 passengers, from June 2009. Passengers will be able to board via both sets of doors to ensure the buses can move away from busy rail stations quickly and help prevent over-crowding.

A weekend service will also be introduced on route 507 operating with 5 buses per hour during the day. Other bendy bus routes will be reviewed as their contracts expire.

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