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Boris on the buses (or not)

Friday, April 11, 2008
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The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London faces Paxo

The main candidates for London Mayor took the stage in a three way debate this week on Newsnight.  Boris Johnson was quizzed by Jeremy Paxman about the costings of one of the central planks of his campaign, a pledge to introduce a new version of the Routemaster bus.

The transcript of the exchange comes from a blog on the Guardian:

“Paxman wanted to know what would be the cost of Johnson’s plan to bring in a new generation of Routemaster buses.

Johnson said this would be “no more and no less” than the cost of Livingstone’s proposal to bring in a new fleet of hybrid buses.

This is how the exchange went on:

Paxman: “Give us a figure.”

Johnson: “When you look at the prospect that this offers ...”

Paxman: “Come on, what is the figure?”

Johnson: “The average cost of a bendy bus is about £200,000. I envisage the cost over time being substantially amortised, to be easily bearable under the transport fund ..

Paxman: “Am I not making myself clear? What we want to know is how much you propose to spend on this new fleet of Routemaster buses?”

Johnson: “No more and no less ...

Paxman: A figure? A figure?

Johnson: Than the cost of the mayor’s ...

Paxman: I despair.”

You can read more on the debate on Dave Cole’s blog here.


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