A spokesperson for Ken Livingstone claims that it will cost £108,000,000 to put conductors on a new version of the Routemaster. This is up on the last “scare story” figure they threw into the debate.
Let’s just look at that figure for a second. Even if the proposed 337 new buses ran 24 hours a day, every day of the year, they could be conducted by 1416 conductors working an 8 hour shift 5 days a week. Divide the £108,000,000 by 1416 and you get a spend per conductor per year of over £76,000.
Let’s look at more realistic numbers. Let’s say each bus is on the road for about half of the time (still very optimistic from what I have seen of vehicle fleets) each conductor would cost over £152,00 per year. Even with holiday pay, sick pay, pension contributions, NI etc. it is still a ridiculously high figure.
When is Livingstone going to stop talking rubbish and when are we going to hear some policies from the other candidates?