Posted today by Tom Edwards on the BBC web site is a first look at London’s new ‘son of Routemaster’. The bus is currently at pre-production mock-up stage and looks more like a film set prop than a bus fit for 21st century London.
I haven’t been following the project particularly, I’m more interested in the real Routemasters and other buses of that era. But the new ‘Boris Bus’ is fascinating because, like the reborn Mini, VW Beetle and Fiat 500, it attempts to capture some of the features that made the Routemaster such an icon. The most obvious one is the open rear platform but, as a conductor myself, I fail to see how Transport for London (TfL) is going to make any money out of this when the driver and his till are at the front. I must admit that I haven’t looked into how they plan to operate it but I presume they’ve looked into this obvious loophole.
I certainly hope so. After all, Boris Johnson (a.k.a. the government) has committed to spend £7.8 million on it!