Minister takes on London mayor over bendy-buses clogging up Maltese streets

Austin Gatt takes on Boris Johnson after mayor tells Tory conference Arriva’s articulated buses are no longer London’s but Malta's problem.

London Mayor Boris Johnson next to one of the decommissioned Arriva bendy-buses.
London Mayor Boris Johnson next to one of the decommissioned Arriva bendy-buses.

Transport Minister Austin Gatt has replied to statements made by London mayor Boris Johnson at the Tory party conference today, defending the use of Arriva's articulated buses on the streets of Malta.

London mayor Boris Johnson today hailed the long-awaited departure of bendy-buses from the British capital, telling the Tory conference in Birmingham that Arriva's articulated buses "are now clogging up the streets of Malta."

To the laughter of his audience, a boisterous Johnson paid tribute to his mayorship saying that he had kept all his promises by bringing in new Routemaster buses. "They are the cleanest buses in Europe... We don't just keep our own promises. We keep Labour ones too... the bendy-buses are now clogging up the streets of Malta."

In a statement he issued written in English, Gatt "noted" that Arriva's bendy buses had been the subject of some humour in Johnson's (referred incorrectly as 'Johnston') address to the Tory conference... adding that his remarks had made it to the "Facebook pages of prominent Labour spokesmen here in Malta."

"Quite apart from the fact that this must be the first time in living memory that the MLP has found anything useful to repeat from the British Conservatives, we assure Mayor Johnston [sic] that passengers in Malta appreciate the comfort and the sheer capacity of articulated buses as they comfortably carry in a single bus journey what used to take 3 to 4 buses before," Gatt said.

"By our mathematics, that is considerably less congestion, rather than more. Mayor Johnston's [sic] mathematics will have to work out the considerably higher expense for bespoke buses that London taxpayers have to pay for to replace the transferred bendy buses."

Gatt said articulated buses were hardly an exclusive feature of Maltese roads, since they operate in just about every other city in with high bus passenger numbers.

The 18-metre long buses run some of Malta's main bus routes since public transport was liberalised and British company Arriva took over the operation of the bus network.

London has just ordered 608 Routemaster buses, the biggest order in the factory's history. "The new Routemaster buses are the cleanest, greenest new buses in Europe," Johnson said to a round of applause.

Arriva shipped the same bendy buses over to Malta, to which Johnson had already bid a "final but not fond farewell" when they were removed from London because they couldn't navigate the city's narrow streets.

"These bulky and ungainly monstrosities were always more suitable for the wide open vistas of a Scandinavian airport than for London. I am glad to see the back of them," Johnson had said.

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as a recent visitor to malta on business, but a london resident i am delighted to get shot of the things. Although distraught at the appalling cost to the london taxpayer of doing this deal. i hate to think how much per mile the things cost in their brief time here, whilst killing several people unnecessarily. Your streets are no wider than londons, and the buses are toooooo long - what's the matter with double-deckers if your Minister is SERIOUS about de-congestion? i know where to get them at a balls-achingly low price but who cares.....
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Sur Vincente Destra dak li int sejjahtlu buffu Ingliz izzuffjetta bl iktar Ministru inkompetenti,mibghud u arroganti li qatt kellna fl' istorja politika ta dan il pajjiz u minhabba fih dahhaq li delegati tal konferenza tal Partit Konservattiv (tal Lemin ghall informazzjoni tieghek)u mux lil konferenza tas Socjalisti Maltin,u jekk int serju ghandek tikkundanna lil Munistru buffu Malti mux lis Sindku tal Londra
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Insomma they're still better than our old buses with that black smoke.
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Ma stajx nieqaf nidhaq dal-ghodu wara li rajt il-poster.
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Ikolli nghid, Dr Gatt bhalissa jew ma jistax joqghod bilqieghda jew ma jistax jitkellem.
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Jidher li s-sur Vincente Destra ma tantx juza l-Arriva biex jitkellem hekk. Nahseb li ahjar titkellem ma dawk in-nies li jkunu fuq l-istages kulljum jisennew bil-hniena forsi f'xi hin jaslu ghax xoghol. Meta kellna il-karozzi qodma u xufiera bic-cingi u jpejpu kellna servizz aktar efficjenti. Sur Destra jekk trid tara jekk zmien il-buzullotti spiccax mur sa fuq it-terminus tal belt u tara b-ghajnejk il-kummiedji li jkun hemm. Wahda u tal-ahhar, qabel kienu jidghu ix xufiera u issa qed jidghu in-nies.
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Are all of the original ARRIVA Malta shareholders still onboard??
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Everybody knew that these bendybuses where too big for Maltese roads,all they do is add to the already heavily congested roads on this island.This I think that even A.Gatt knew it,but still he brought them to Malta....makes you wonder WHY.
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we have become the laughing stock around the whole world. even cameron whom we went over backwards in the libyan crisis to accomodate couldnt stop laughing at the jabs of the commedian turned politician at the expence of the maltese. shame on you minister gatt your exploits have rediculed us abroad.
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Boris is a successful popular politician who was speaking the truth. A truth that we can all witness with the many break downs we have all witnessed all over the island. Austin is a person who has repeatedly been proven to be a liar and a cheat - and who refuses to step down despite having personally left a dent on the GDP of the country (something NSO are only to happy to hide). Austin - you have been caught lying again and you might try to bully and bluff your way out of the situation, but you can kiss Boris well endowed posterior at the end of the day, coz you are just a VIP in a mickey mouse country - more of a VIA then a VIP!.
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Austin "ghamilna pipi" Gaffe is really detached from this world. He said that bendy buses have reduced congestion. Just this morning it took me 1 hr 15min from SPB to Valletta. Malta needs to see the light soon by getting rid of the scum governing this country.
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"Zmien il-buzzollotti ghadda" kien iddikkjara l-Ministru Austin Gatt. Li ried ighid kien iz-zmien il-buzullotti kien se jibda... u bil-kbir. Xejn xejn dahhaqna n-nies bina! Kompli dahhaq Agostino!
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Ara...Austin ighid lil Johnson li jekk jirrezenja hu, tirrezenja int. Ma tiflahx twaqqaghna ghan-n*** izjed Sur buzulotti wahdek? U fejn hu dak il-bravu Delia illi jahseb hu xi Imam ghax bid-daqna? Le...tajjeb qeghdin ta! Prosit. U iva...issa inti u Delia ifthu hanut...wiehed jaghmel il-frejjeg u l-iehor izid is-salad (b'referenza tal-ufficcju tieghu ta' Hal-Safi li ghandu permess ghal hanut tal-hxejjex!). Ksuhat u parol fil-vojt fadlilkom biss! Qbija un bel zero!
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If twenty peas take 10 seconds to pass through a sieve with pea-size holes, how long will it take for a hazelnut the size of three peas to pass through?
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Austin GATT, are you so damn big headed that you can't admit to making a mistake? You should be ashamed of yourself, never being man enough to own up to your misdemeanours, are you so arrogant that rather than shutting your mouth and take his comments on the chin as you should have, you are trying to convince everyone that you are wrong and the rest all wrong! YES AUSTIN GATT THE MALTESE PUBLIC THINK YOU F....... UP BY BRINGING THOSE BENDY BUSES GO MALTA
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Trid tkun socjalist malti biex toghxa u titpaxxa b'dak li qal dan il-buffu ingliz. Qalulu x'kellna sentejn ilu, xufiera hlief jidghu lit-turisti ma jaghmlux, u bil-flokk tac-cingi u bis-sigarett? Well said Dr. Austin Gatt , iz-zmien ghad itik ragun! Viva Malta Libera! Viva l-Lemin!
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We are the laughing stock of the world and this is the fault of Transport Malta and the obnoxious Minister Austin Gatt. If the bendy buses were a problem in London, how much they will be on this island which is only 10% of the size of London. Thanks Boris in making our transport Minister look like a clown.
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Dear Austin thanks to you our party is going to lose the election.
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waqa ghan nejk ohra tal fkucen wanker.Proset Franco
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Don't blame Boris for those bendy buses that are clogging the roads in Malta, but blame those idiots in the Maltese government who for their own reasons, probably money must have greased some palms too for those buses to end up in Malta. Those bendy-buses were never good in London let alone in those narrow, sometimes hilly Maltese roads.
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Il-Partit Nazzjonalista sar il-partit tal-Kummidjanti, buzulottisti u illuzjonisti. Prosit Gonzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Mons Gonzi kisser il-pajjiz spiritwalment u in-neputi Dottor Gonzi kisser il-pajjiz materjalment.
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Mintoff kien sinonomu ma Malta mal-barranin! Issa Malta sinonoma maz-zufjett imhabba l-bendy buses ta Austin Gatt! Naghtuh Gieh ir-Republika ghax vera 'ir-riforma' saret buzullotta internazzjonali!
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watch out boris,he might just send his thugs and teach you a lesson.!
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Luke Camilleri
Naccettaw iz-zibel kollhu ahna! Skart ta' haddiehor issir STATE-OF-THE ASS OF-AUSTIN GATT & Co.!
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Is Minister for Transport, AUSTIN GATT, (amongst other trivial items) living in Malta or has he emigrated to the land of "never never" and is happily ensconced in something long, bent and mousy grey?
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mela issa tal labour se jibdew jghatu kaz x'jghidu il barranin. mela issa ma ghadiex dawwa jekk xi barrani jghid xi haga fuq malta bhal ma kien jigri fi zmien mintoff. kos kemm jinbidlu l-affarijiet. u dan min meta il partit laburista sar jaqbel mal partit konservattiv ingliz. jekk johnson ma jridhomx dawk il karrozzi ma jinkwieta xejn u jibghatom malta. jien nahdem airmalta u ix xoghol biha immur ghax twassalni wara il bieb. anke nies li jkunu se jsiefru qed juzawa. U DEJJEM MIMLIJA TKUN.
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NEWSFLASH: LONDON MAYOR SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY AND TREMBLES WITH FEAR AFTER MESSAGE FROM AUSTIN GATT!!! U hallina tridx?! How many millions of people live in your fantasy land Austin as compared to London’s millions??? … It’s not only the name but numbers matter in world affairs Mr Gatt! … besides what the mayor of London said is also correct: the bendy buses cause havoc on Maltese streets – and although their carrying capacity is higher than regular buses, it also takes that much longer to load and unload passengers!!! Again due to your stupid and ridiculous system which still requires drivers to issue tickets, check passengers whether they have a ticket or not and other chores instead of simply concentrating on driving! And yes all this time taken is clogging up the streets so wake up Austin the Daustin. Ahjar tirrezenja u forsi tiffranka li ma twaqqanix izjed ghan-nejk mal-barrarin sur Gatt!
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To add insult to injury, Manuel Dalia has been approved as a PN candidate for the next General Election. With RCC, Austin Gatt and Lawrence Gonzi at the helm of the Nationalist Party such tragicomedies are possible.
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To add insult to injury, Manuel Dalia has been approved as a PN candidate for the next General Election. With RCC, Austin Gatt and Lawrence Gonzi at the helm of the Nationalist Party such tragicomedies are possible.
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To add insult to injury, Manuel Dalia has been approved as a PN candidate for the next General Election. With RCC, Austin Gatt and Lawrence Gonzi at the helm of the Nationalist Party such tragicomedies are possible.
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To add insult to injury, Manuel Dalia has been approved as a PN candidate for the next General Election. With RCC, Austin Gatt and Lawrence Gonzi at the helm of the Nationalist Party such tragicomedies are possible.
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Sur Augostino Pio ergajt qlajt Camata kbira ohra din id darba is Sindku ta Londra kixiflek il Frejjeg li ghamilt int pero lakbar problemali ghandek hi li int ma tammettix kem inti Arroganti Galore. Ebilhaq il Malti jajt lil min tafu issaqsiex ghalih
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Zack Depasquale
Transport Minister Gatt is either living in another world or he has a Star Trek transporter to commute from one place to another. Boris Johnson wasn’t saying anything which we Maltese drivers haven’t said before him. The bendy buses are too huge for our Maltese roads. These bendy buses are good only for creating traffic chaos when one develops a fault, which happens quiet a lot.
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Joseph MELI
More like a clown's convention with these two buffoons -as both of them in their resepctive countries are objects of ridicule and derision,but at least Boris got this one right.
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No Congestion DR GATT . Are you joking ? Try driving into and around Sliema St Julians and you will discover that it is a total fiasco. The bus stops where not made for such buses and even when there is space it is incredible that more than ever one bendy bus follows another and everyone is stuck behind. Try driving through Mrabat Street total disaster. No Mr Minister you are not right on this one , the London Mayor had a good laugh at us and he is absolutely correct.
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Minister Gatt why can't you for once admit you screwed up and apologize to the Maltese people? Maybe you can admit that you were conned into this deal and you were not prepared but please swallow your pride and once and for all put everything aside and say Mea Culpa. People would understand perfectly, but as long as you remain adamant about apologizing, you will continue to hear criticism. After all you are human and yes, you are entitled to make a mistakes or two..
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Nixtieq nifrah lil 'kbir' Austin Gatt ghax il-frejjeg tieghu issa gew rikonoxxuti anke f'Londra u b'entuzjazmu kbir mill-partit Konservattiv Ingliz.
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laqwa li kelna il konsulenti bravi u hadu l leluf! fakruni naqra kemm kienu hadu jekk jogobkom?
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This is really funny!!! Now we do not only have a Nationalist MP having fun of a Nationalist Minister but also the British Conservative Party!!! Who's next??
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This is really funny!!! Now we do not only have a Nationalist MP having fun of a Nationalist Minister but also the British Conservative Party!!! Who's next??
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Id-diskors ta Johnson ilhom li qaluh kemm il-LP u kemm il-poplu Malti. anzi l-polu Malti qed jesperjenzah dan kollu. Gatt u Delia biss għadhom ma ndunawx xi froġa għamlu!! Spiċċa jitmejjel bina kullħadd. Gawhra oħra din ta' Gatt. Mhux veru jew li t-toroq tagħna spiċċaw stagnati bl-arriva?! Mela barrani jaf u Gatt għadu ma' ndunax miskin!!
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maria aquilina
Il-ahwa kemm hu pruzuntuz Gaff. Boris ghad ikun il-prim ministru tar-renju unit u Gaff bilqeghda fuq dak il-haga kerha ta' bridge fid-dahla tal-port jghodd il-buzullotti....
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Your so called mathematics are laughable Austin !!! less congestion ????? By any chance do you use a helicopter for your daily transport ? Also keep in mind that they are starting to fall to pieces after years of service first in London and now on our WIDE and fantastic roads in Malta ....hallina trid ..just resign .
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Dan Agostino Pio ma xebghax jaqa' ghan-nejk u jwaqqa' ghan-nejk lill-Malta kollha mieghu?!
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Still better than what we had before.
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What a Johnson!
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Well said Boris !! Not good for London but ok for Maltese roads ... Over to you Sur spiccaw il buzulloti Gatt....any comment to counter this statement ....or is the mayor of london a liar or wk...er as well !!! You have made us the laughing stock of the UK and Europe...... well done !!! Just one of the many cock ups you created but obviuosly it's not your fault ....mhux hekk Auuuuuuuustin !!
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Prosit spiccajna "laughing stock". U Alla jbierek HADD MA HU RESPONSABLI. Viva l-Gahan Malti.