BBC BLOGS - Mind The Gap
« Previous | Main | Next »

Has Son of Routemaster found a way to your heart?

Post categories:

Steve Phillips Steve Phillips | 11:39 UK time, Monday, 17 May 2010

_47861942_nbfl_no23_stpauls_140510.jpgSo, as Tom reveals Routemaster: The Next Generation, how are you liking it?

When Transport for London ran the competition in 2008 to find the replacement for the bendy bus, I spoke to Alan Ponsford, design director of (eventual winners) Capoco Design on what he saw as vital to a new Routemaster.

Fuel efficient with disabled access and an onboard conductor were the essential assets of the new vehicle, along with an open entrance at the back.

This last feature was the moot point for the Routemaster because of safety concerns. Indeed Colin Curtis, one of the designers of the original Routemaster told BBC London that in his revamp there wouldn't be an open back.

It seems the will of the people has won out.

However, the Routemaster story has always sharply divided opinion and your initial reaction to the new bus has been no different.

Here are some of your tweets to @BBCTravelAlert

@benoliver999 - Love it! It's like it's from the 50s 'future'

@alanfoss - she looks rather beautiful :)

@djgarethm Good god... that new routemaster is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen!!

@BorisWatch It's not a Routemaster, It's not a Routemaster, It's not a... (etc. etc. as no one's going to listen anyway)

@meadowend What does the design matter? It's a bus. It takes up less space, and is less dangerous to cyclists than a bendy bus.

Routemaster co-owner and Radio 2 presenter Ken Bruce had this to say...

"In looks, it seems reminiscent of Alexander's 60s bodywork for the Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline, so a bit of (non-London) nostalgia there. But in general, it's impossible to say whether the public will take it to their hearts - a bit like catchphrases; you can't make them up, they just happen."

Before I go, a quick reminder of what the original Routemasters are up to now.

A couple of years ago, BBC London 94.9 presenter Simon Lederman and I embarked on a Hunt to track down as many of the iconic buses as possible.

We started on this website and got a huge response that culminated in a radio programme over Easter in 2007.

When they were taken out of service a few years ago, most of them did not go out to pasture. They became wedding venues, nightclubs and playschools. You can see the gallery here.

Keep your thoughts coming faithful commuter...


or register to comment.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.