Today saw the unveiling of the new “Bus For London.”
As yet, details beyond the basic are not yet available – today’s coverage seems very much aimed at encouraging comparisons with the Routemaster and emphasising “hop on, hop off” as an option that will be available. Mwmbwls recent piece on the Routemaster Legacy is worth a read for discussion of what a “new” Routemaster should entail. A good breakdown of the cost increase so far can be found on Boriswatch.
A couple points of interest so far:
- Two-person operation will not entail a driver and a “conductor” but a driver and “uniformed presence.” There is no indication of whether this represents anything more than a change of terminology yet, however.
- The slashed black frontage is apparently intended to suggest the external cab design of the original Routemaster
- It’ll have battery motors on the rear/wheels axle for additional “green” savings.
- It has two stair cases (middle and rear) both of which have glass windows running up their lengths
- It has three sets of doors (front, middle, and a shuttered rear platform).
- According to the BBC, TfL have indicated that it will be in service “from 2012.” As only five will have been delivered by then, however, it seems safe to say that this will most likely be the target for live testing purposes.
As details emerge – particularly those of a more technical variety (such as dimensions and what the seating distribution will be between upstairs and downstairs) – we will print them here.
Some more stats:
Total Capacity: 87
Lower Deck: 22 seats (That total includes 4 priority seats and 6 preferential seats for passengers with restricted mobility) 25 standing.
Wheelchair Bays: 1
Upped Deck: 40 seats
The Original Winning Design Sketch
As a reminder, below is the winning concept sketch from the initial design competition. Created by Aston Martin and Foster and Partners:
The images below were released today and are intended to give an idea of the new, finalised design as it would look in operation.
There are a couple of concept videos now up on Youtube:
I’ve grabbed a couple of interesting stills from these here:
I’ll leave the final comment for now to David Brown, MD Surface Transport:
I can categorically say that you will never see anything like this anywhere else in the world