Jul 24 2009 By Paloma Kubiak
BENDY buses are running on borrowed time in Ealing and will be scrapped by the end of 2011, says London Mayor Boris Johnson.
As part of the mayor's election pledge, the 207 bendy bus, serving the Hayes-by-pass through Ealing to Shepherds Bush, will be replaced by single deck buses.
Route 507, running the Waterloo to Victoria route completed its final day of service on Friday July 24, and the remaining 396 bendy buses serving the capital will be phased out within the next two years.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "These writhing whales of the road have swung their hefty rear ends round our corners for the final time.
"Pedestrians that leapt, cyclists that skidded and drivers that dodged from the path of the buses will breathe easier. Bendy buses are on borrowed time and I can confirm they will all have gone by 2011."
Negotiations are already in place to remove the 'writhing whales' from the London Buses fleet and the announcement comes four years ahead of the Mayor's schedule.
John Beeston of Ealing Passenger Transport User Group (EPTUG) said the move is welcomed as long as a new fleet can deal with the capacity and not add to the congestion on the roads.
Mr Beeston said: "The bendy buses were disliked by motorists and the 207 was often seen as the 'free bus service' with people dodging fares.
"The safety factor has been overplayed and when something of a novelty hits the London roads, it does tend to catch pedestrians and other road users out.
"We're all accustomed to them now and statistics from Transport for London show they don't have a worse accident record than the conventional buses.
"The idea is welcomed as long as they are replaced by small conventional buses, rather than double deckers."
Routes 507, 521 and 38 will convert this year; 18 and 149 will convert by the end of 2010.
The remaining routes, 12, 25, 29, 73, 207, 436, 453, will convert by the end of 2011.