It's in print now - what I said about the New Bus for London in New Transit was:
Purpose-built buses for London have a history of success and cost-effectiveness. The new one certainly is impressive and has all the hallmarks of Wrightbus' adventurous styling together with clever features to maximise the space, the light and passenger amenity. We will never get the passenger to weight ratio that came with the original Routemaster neither will we provide all those lower deck seats now we have to have a wheelchair space, and more than one door.
Nevertheless we have got a great looking vehicle which people will be keen to ride on and with more than a nod to its ancestry.
Passenger popularity is one thing. I also want it to run 22 hours a day, 28 days a month without constantly needing skilled attention – that’s one attribute of the old Routemaster we do still need.
I hope you agree!
Whilst we're talking about the Trade Press, and echoing what The Omnibus Blog has said yesterday about social media, Coach and Bus Week has run an entire article based on a report of mine a week or so ago. (Yes you had it first!). It's about the malicious complaint in Potteries alleging that an Eastern European driver had tried to exclude from our bus a small boy who was wearng an England T-shirt.
We find no evidence this incident ever took place. "Witnesses" turn out to be unobtainable or defective in their recollection (like when and where). Meanwhile our staff continue to be accosted and threatened by those who heard the original story but haven't caught up with the latest news.
I will reiterate what I said then. We will always act if we find members of staff have acted illegally. Such behaviour has no place in our company.
But equally we will always rigorously protect them if we feel people are maliciously blaming staff for the purpose of extorting compensation from us and making trouble.
Fortunately we have sources of information like CCTV for protection. Indeed some cases of one person's word against another have now been proven in favour of the employee - the most dramatic cases have been those passengers who claimed they were hurt following an abrupt stop and our DriveGreen equipment has confirmed beyond any doubt that no harsh braking took place at all.