Boris Johnson and Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy yesterday unveiled the final design for the capital’s new bus which TfL hope will replace the Routemaster as an icon for London.
The new design, which is the result of collaboration between Wrightbus, Transport for London and the Heatherwick Studio, uses lightweight materials and boasts two staircases as well as three doors for “speedier” boarding.
Yesterday’s announcement follows the Mayor’s election manifesto promise to replace the Routemaster and a public competition to design a new bus for London.
Like its famous predecessor, the new London bus will have a rear platform for boarding however this is expected to be closed at certain times of the day.
Transport for London say the new bus will be “15 per cent more fuel efficient than existing hybrid buses”.
Unveiling the design, Mayor Johnson, said: “This iconic new part of our transport system is not only beautiful, but also has a green heart beating beneath its stylish, swooshing exterior. 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.
A static mock-up of the design is expected to be completed later this year ahead of the first prototype being delivered in 2011.
TfL has applied to the Intellectual Property Office for Registered Design Protection of the vehicle’s exterior design. If granted this will give the capital exclusive rights over the new design.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch Mr Hendy predicted that the new bus “will be loved by Londoners for many years to come” and indicated that elements of the design could eventually be replicated across the capital’s entire bus fleet.