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New Routemaster

filed on: 18.05.2010 (18th May 2010)

New Routemaster This newslog doesn't normally comment on buses. However, it is rare that the presentation of a new bus design is reported so widely in the mainstream press. Even models such as the Mercedes Citaro – whose numbers outstrip even the best possible New Routemaster production by orders of magnitude – were hardly discussed when introduced and haven't been mentioned much since. Maybe, after all, a bus is just a consumable or a commodity and not expected to create awareness or make a statement. The fact that London is getting a custom designed bus isn't that unusual either. It wasn't that long ago that most major operators would specify their own buses to a high level of detail and get involved in the design process. But that's not the way things are done any more (and today trams are heading the same way down the road of standardisation). The New Routemaster has been criticsed as being too expensive or being about fulfiling the folly of London's eccentric major. I don't know enough details to comment on that. But the fact that a bus is getting this level of attention cannot in itself be bad. There are points of the design that can be quibbled over (I don't like the irregular window spacing, which I don't like on trams either), but the bus does certainly capture some of the essence of the original Routemaster or even earlier London designs (especially the rear with its round domed roof and the suggestion of an open stair) while still being a forward looking design. But even if all this is all just spin, it cannot be a bad thing if people start talking about and becoming aware of bus design.

New Routemaster, London Another nice feature about the New Routemaster is its diesel-electric drive. Maybe this is making a future trolleybus version possible?

This news item is from the 2010 newslog.

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