London Routemaster -The Official Return!

After toying with ideas from the lovely house of Aston Martin Boris has unveiled the new Routemaster.

London tried the quite flammable bendy buses but, apart from being unsafe for a short while, they never captured the imagination like the old hop-on-hop-off London buses. Well, that and so many people refer to the bendies as ‘the free buses’ on account that it’s so easy to slip on without paying 🙁

The old Routemaster bus is a London icon, but the iconic 1954 design did need a revamp.

Heatherwick Studios, the design agency behind the new bus, must be pleased to become the chosen ones whose design will arrive for the London Olympics in 2012.

You’ll be pleased to know that the Wright Group, makers of London’s current double-decker bus, will make the new one.

The new design has two staircases and three doors, and still sports that old fashioned rear door so that the more daring/desperate can pounce onto the bus or exit at traffic lights, etc.

The original’s diesel engine has gone in favour of a hybrid model which has a 40% efficiency boost over normal engines as well as cranking out 15% more power than existing hybrids. There’s also the added bonus of them being quieter – anyone that’s lived on a hill on a London bus route will understand the need for that one.

The buses will carry 87 passengers which is 10 more than the old one but much less than the 149 that the bendy buses could carry – but then, chances are, not all were paying passengers.

The first five buses will cost £1.6 million each and then, London tax payers, the price will drop to £300,000 each. A normal bus costs £190,000 and a bendy bus £250,000.

Whatcha think?

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