Boris Johnson and bus deregulation

With the unfortunate news that Boris Johnson is to be the next prime minister, I thought it a good opportunity to highlight a post from 2007.

Johnson had written in his Telegraph column how bad he considered the bus network in London to be, suggesting that London should adopt the system common throughout the rest of the country, which is effectively a free-for-all where different companies run whatever routes they want, where there is no central timetimetabling or ticketing, and where often it is not possible to use the same ticket on different operators’ services.

In response, the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, had defended London’s buses. As Johnson was at the time MP for Henley, in Oxfordshire, I decided to write a letter to the Telegraph pointing out that buses in Oxfordshire, using Johnson’s proposed system for London, didn’t really work that well. A slightly edited version of the letter was printed in the newspaper.

Johnson became Mayor of London the following year, but his plan to change the way London buses worked never saw the light of day. So that’s Johnson Nil, Me 1…

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