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The London Bendy Bus

The Bus We Hated

The London Bendy Bus by Matthew Wharmby
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Between 2002 and 2006 six of London’s bus companies put into service 390 articulated ‘bendy’ buses on twelve routes for transport in London.rnrnDuring what turned out to be a foreshortened nine years in service, the Mercedes-Benz Citaro G buses familiar on the continent and worldwide earned an unenviable reputation in London; according to who you read and who you believed, they caught fire at the drop of a hat, they maimed cyclists, they drained revenue from the system due to their susceptibility to fare evasion, they transported already long-suffering passengers in standing crush loads like cattle and they contributed to the extinction of the Routemaster from frontline service. In short, it was often referred to as ‘the bus we hated’.rnrnThis account is an attempt by a long-time detractor of the bendy buses to set the vehicles in their proper context – not quite to rehabilitate them, but to be as fair as is possible towards a mode of transport which felt about as un-British as could be.
Pen and Sword; March 2016
112 pages; ISBN 9781473869431
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Title: The London Bendy Bus
Author: Matthew Wharmby