New London Routemaster’ sees return of open platform

THE iconic Routemaster with an open platform where you can hop on’ and hop off’ is making a come-back on the streets of London. The announcement comes today with Boris Johnson selecting the preferred’ manufacturer to design London's new bus

By Mike Brooke

THE iconic Routemaster double-decker with an open platform where you can hop on’ and hop off’ is making a come-back on the streets of London.

It will have the defining feature letting passengers nip on and off even at street corners—like Londoners had been doing for 150 years before open-platform busses were finally scrapped three years ago when the much-criticised bendy’ buses were introduced.

But the open platforms will have the facility to be closed off at certain times such as at night, City Hall revealed today.

Boris Johnson has selected Wrightbus as the preferred manufacturer’ for the final design of the new London bus, based on the iconic Routemaster.

“Londoners have waited with stoic patience as work continued to select the manufacturer to make the 21st century Routemaster a reality,” said the Mayor.

“The decision has now been made and we can look forward to a new London icon that not only returns to the open platform, but also uses the latest state-of-the art green’ technology to slash pollution and fuel consumption.”

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The new bus, designed to carry at least 87 passengers, starts rolling out in 2011, ready for the world descending for the 2012 Olympics.

But we won’t be going back to the same street pollution the old diesel double-deckers spewed out. Green technology is being used to make the new vehicles 40 per cent more fuel-efficient than conventional diesels and 15 per cent more than even current London hybrids introduced in 2008.

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