The new Routemaster bus is a thing of beauty and a miracle of design, sleek, stunning and soignee. It is true that the buses cost a bit more to make than bendy buses, but style costs. The buses will cost £300,000 each after the first six, because development and design costs are factored into the first six buses.
Please forgive me, but anyone who does not see the potential of these buses is hugely lacking in imagination. They will greatly enhance the look of our beautiful capital. Tourists will be dying to travel on them, as a landmark and as a symbol. They are symbolic of the spirit of London and our Britishness, and will greatly enhance the London landscape, instead of the previous hideous eyesores. (stunning video of the Routemaster).
Why do people appreciate beautiful, expensive cars? Because it is better to purchase a beautifully designed vehicle, when the extra cost will be repaid a thousand fold because people appreciate the quality of the finished result. Which would you prefer, a sleek, chic, designer vehicle, that is also satisfyingly practical, and wonderful for the environment, that tourists drool over, or a clumsy, ugly deathtrap, that is a continuous threat to safety and allows passengers to rip off the public by not paying their fare, simply because they can?
When we elected Boris as Mayor, we knew that he was artistic and creative, we knew that what we were getting was someone who would consider the aesthetic side of something like a bus, as well as all the practicalities. On a mundane level anyway, it is sensible to consider the aesthetic side because that always pays dividends.
In time, Londoners will appreciate what a huge gift these buses are to our capital, and they will be deeply grateful to Boris Johnson for giving them something iconic and beautiful, as the Mayor said. This is as much a work of art as a bus can ever be. Maybe that will take time, and I hope the Mayor does not get too many hurtful brickbats in the meantime. The designer of the buses has created something wonderful, the Picasso of buses and is to be congratulated. Boris doesn’t and never will do cheap and nasty, and deep down, we knew that all along.