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Double trouble for bus plans

PUBLISHED: 16:35 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:57 24 August 2010

TRANSPORT for London bosses have been slammed for calling time on the bendy buses on the number 18 bus route. The controversial mode of transport are scheduled to be replaced with double-deckers this November, but Lib Dem councillors say the money spent

TRANSPORT for London bosses have been slammed for calling time on the bendy buses on the number 18 bus route.

The controversial mode of transport are scheduled to be replaced with double-deckers this November, but Lib Dem councillors say the money spent on the replacements should be used to extend the route.

The route currently runs from Euston to Sudbury, via Wembley and Harlesden, but the councillors have said it should terminate at Northwick Park Hospital.

Critics also warn that double-deckers carry a third fewer passengers, and that more buses will be needed to satisfy demand.

Cllr Daniel Bessong, Liberal Democrat councillor for Wembley, said: "I'm appalled that having refused to extend the number 18 bus route to Northwick Park, Mayor Boris now wants to spend thousands of pounds replacing perfectly useable buses on Brent's busiest route with ones that carry fewer people.

"This isn't cost efficient, isn't environmental in terms of carbon emissions and won't improve the service.

"What people really need, as we have told both London mayors, are buses that go to the hospital. This is especially important if people are not well enough to drive, or find it costly to visit friends and relatives."

A Transport for London spokesman said the conversion of the route to double-decker buses should not have a major impact on passenger capacity, and that passengers will have access to regular and reliable services.

He added: "The mayor was voted in on a clear manifesto to rid the capital of bendy buses.

"TfL will, as always, seek to provide the best value for money for London's fare and tax payers in delivering this policy.

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