London’s new Routemaster bus design unveiled
Phew! The new Routemaster design is unveiled - complete with the all-important hop on-hop off open platform
The design of the 'New Bus for London' - or new Routemaster, as everyone except Transport for London calls it - has finally been unveiled.
The "futuristic" design, dreamt up by a team that included Aston Martin and architects Foster and Partners, incorporates more glass than you would normally expect on a double decker bus, but apart from that it won't look particularly out of place on the streets of London.
The bus, which will be built by Wrightbus and hit the streets by 2012, will use hybrid technology to be 40 per cent more fuel efficient than your average double-decker.
Of more interest to Londoners who miss the days of hopping off Routemasters when the bus was stuck in traffic - or jumping on just as it pulled away from the bus stop - there will be an open rear platform.
The passenger won't have it all his own way, though. During "quiet times", the rear platform can be closed - no doubt a concession to health and safety, since "quiet times" will often coincide with late nights, when half-cut passengers are perhaps less able to negotiate a moving bus platform.
Other features that should help in the rush hour include three doors and two staircases - but that could mean even fewer seats than the hated articulated 'bendy' buses. ·
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