03 May 2008

It's BADD or, Why I hate Routemasters


It is somewhere past midnight on Friday night. I have had dinner with some friends and am heading back to Victoria Station.

A friend phones. "Where are you?"
"On the number 38."
"Is it bendy?"
"Yes."
"Hijack it and don't get off for four years."

And that is how I learned Boris Johnson had been elected Mayor of London.

This is not a party political thing. It's just I once fell off the back of a moving Routemaster and only survived because a passing Australian bloke pulled me out of the road before anything hit me.
I know I am a drama queen. As a benchmark for how dramatic this was, everyone screamed, not just me.
At some point recently Boris Johnson said his first act as London Mayor would be to bring back Routemasters. If you read his Transport Policy - 'The Freedom Pass will be protected as an untouchable right for London pensioners.' Thanks Boris, any word on disableds having that same untouchable right? - you'll see that he reckons he can design a Routemaster with 'full disabled access' which is interesting because any moving vehicle you enter via a rear entrance which doesn't close securely is always going to be less accessible and more dangerous than one with a front entrance that does.
Now, the basic definition of a Routemaster is generally 'a front engined, rear open platform bus' and a rear open platform can never be made accessible to me. Full stop.
Even if they manage to add an alternative entrance, there'd always be a chance that I'd end up near the platform without meaning to, wobble, and fall off.
So any Routemaster is - by definition - inaccessible to me.
I don't mind that there's still some Heritage routes for spods who want that special Routemaster feeling. Objecting to that would be like me objecting to not being able to climb the Eiffel Tower, but London's a living, working city which I'd very much like to be able to live and work in.
I don't even think Bendy Buses are much good. I've got mates who are cyclists who I'd like to see live to old age.
It's just I do like being able to get around London and if the Routemasters come back - in whatever form - I won't be able to do so.
I suppose there's always a chance he won't deliver on his election promises.
Happy BADD.

6 Comments:

Blogger The Goldfish said...

Thanks for your contribution, Katie :-)


Hmm, Boris Johnson. It's a bit like when Harrogate were allowed an elected major and the people chose a man dressed as a monkey. He's kind of cute and probably much smarter than he looks, but it's no longer funny when he going to turn back the clock on accessibility and the environment.

12:31 pm  
Blogger saraarts said...

Not British, never even ridden on one of these pretty red buses, but wow! This is very well written. I can really feel your experience - and take your point.

Terrific contribution to BADD. Thank you. :)

2:50 pm  
Blogger pete said...

He would if he could on the cheap!

Now if conductors/esses were brought back to bendy buses at least you could complain about lack of accessibility.

5:27 pm  
Blogger Twit said...

All around the Bendy Bus the bendy Boris bent.

What a bellend.

3:02 am  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I was having a argument with one of me muckers last night about this. Routemasters are shite and belong in the 1940's from whence they came. Boris obviously thinks that annoying the crip lobby is worth the risk. Man is an arse.

8:18 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh according to one of me own old muckers I am very selfish and if Routemasters come back London will run better and I'll be able to get around the City more easily even tho I won't actually be able to get on the buses.

Um.

Is basically what I said.

Um. And Fuck Right Off.

12:48 am  

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