The London streetscape will undergo an emphatic redesign when the first of the newly designed red London buses take to the road at the end of 2012.
The final design by Wrightbus, based on the much-loved Routemaster, was unveiled this week by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy.
The bus will use the latest green technology. It will be 15 per cent more fuel efficient than existing hybrid buses, and 40 per cent more efficient than conventional diesel double decks and much quieter on the streets.
The pioneering design makes use of lightweight materials, with glass highlighting key features and producing a light and airy feel inside the bus.
An impressive glass ‘swoop’ at the rear and offside pick out the two staircases and provide a dramatic visual effect. An asymmetric design for the front-end completes the futuristic look.
The open platform is a defining feature, shared with the Routemaster of old, and allows the reinstatement of a hop-on, hop-off service. Three doors and two staircases will aid speedier and smoother boarding.
“This iconic new part of our transport system is not only beautiful, but also has a green heart beating beneath its stylish, swooshing exterior,” said Johnson. “It will cut emissions, and give Londoners a bus they can be proud of, complete with cutting edge design, and the freedom of an open platform.”
Manufacturing Excellence Award winners Wrightbus and Transport for London have been working with Heatherwick Studio as a collaborative design partner taking the lead on the styling of the bus to support Wrightbus in the design and development process. he contract for the design and build of the New Bus for London was awarded to Wrightbus in January 2010.
The stylish new buses will however come at a cost of £7.8m for the first five buses and about £300,000 each when in full production. While that is comparable to the current hybrid double decker, it is nearly three times the cost of a standard red bus.