New Double Decker Buses To Hit London Soon

routemaster bus hits london photo

the Foster/Aston Martin bus

London has a new Mayor who has started filling some of his campaign promises. One of the main items on the list was the pledge to bring back the iconic and much-missed double decker bus.

The design for the new bus was the subject of a competition with 700 entries. The remit was to create a new design for a bus that would be environmentally friendly, accessible and hearken back to the much-loved Routemaster (as it was called). The old bus had two levels and one could jump on and off at will. Two winners shared the prize: one version by Foster + Partners and Aston Martin and another by Capoco.

original routemaster bus photo

the original Routemaster

The two designs will go forward to the manufacturer, yet to be chosen, who will include the best elements from both when they create the new buses, planned to hit the streets in the year 2011.

The Aston Martin and Foster design is a zero-emissions double-decker that is highly manoeuvrable, with warm lighting and wooden floors and is accessible for disabled passengers. There will be reconstituted leather upholstery to create a tactile ‘living room’ feel. The top of the bus will have a glazed roof which incorporates solar cells to "generate energy and filter daylight to control the temperature inside."

Capoco's proposed bus has a low flat floor to allow passengers to get on and off easily, with a Routemaster-like front engine, an open rear platform; it will also be low emission.

In addition, the hated "bendy bus"--a two carriage, 60 foot long vehicle that knocked over pedestrians, took up too much space on the crowded streets and was always empty, will be phased out. Evening Standard
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