See the bright lights of London by the new double decker buses

Thursday, 20 May, 2010

New, ultra-sleek, Routemaster-inspired double decker buses are expected to be on the roads of London by 2012.

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Welcome back the Routemaster double decker bus

Friday, 2 January, 2009

Unfortunately designs for an ultra sleek “Welcome Back” double decker bus, based on the old Routemaster buses that used to wind through the streets of London, didn’t make the cut in a recent design contest.

based on the iconic routemaster the ‘welcome back’ bus would use hybrid diesel-electric drive-train and regenerative braking system to keep weight and emissions to a minimum, coupled with a solar-panel roof for top-up energy. the design has a small wheelbase for easier manoeuvrability around london’s narrow streets. another feature is the diagonal window that celebrates london’s double decker buses by visually externalizing the stairs.

Sydney could do with more buses though, maybe the “Welcome Back” could be brought into service here instead.

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End of the nine

Tuesday, 31 August, 2004

It’s all change as that quintessential symbol of London (well one of many really), the red Routemaster double-decker bus is about to depart the bus lanes, to comply with EU disability access regulations.

Transport for London is to commence progressively withdrawing the old buses from the streets after some 50 years of service.

In particular the number 9 Aldwych to Hammersmith Routemaster is due to go within the next few weeks. For a long time the number 9 used to run to Barnes in west London, but several years ago the bus route was split in two at Hammersmith.

Old Hammersmith Bridge was beginning to show the strain of the ever increasing levels of traffic using it, so double-decker buses, amongst other vehicles, were barred from using the bridge.

A smaller shuttle type bus now continues over the bridge onto Barnes. This extension service is aptly numbered 9A.

I spent many of my London days running after a double-decker bus and, like other people, literally jumping aboard an in-motion bus as it had an “open deck” door at the back. Although this type of conduct was frowned upon, it prevailed nevertheless. It was one of the joys of travelling on a routemaster.

Sitting in the front row seats, on the top deck, while the bus wound its way through London’s narrow streets was, well, one of many quintessential London experiences.

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