Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered transport bosses to consider changes to the design of his flagship New Routemaster bus in the face of ongoing passenger complaints about the temperature inside the vehicles.
Instead of featuring standard opening windows in keeping with the rest of London’s bus fleet, the new vehicle relies in an air-cooling system to control the internal temperature.
Since the bus entered passenger service in 2012 there have been complaints about the effectiveness of the system, with passengers complaining on social media and to London Assembly Members about stifling heat and uncomfortable travelling conditions.
Transport for London initially denied any fallings with the system but have since placed heat sensors on some buses to help monitor temperatures in the upper-saloon.
Last October it emerged that TfL and manufacturer Wrightbus were exploring adding “insulation around areas such as the engine compartment, improved ventilation and remote monitoring of saloon temperatures” on a new batch of 200 vehicles.
However passengers on the existing vehicles continue to complain about the conditions they’re forced to travel in.
Boris Johnson has now confirmed that TfL has been asked “to work with Wrightbus to look again at possible design options to improve comfort across the New Routemaster fleet.”
The information came in response to a question from Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson who said passengers had recorded “temperatures of 36 degrees and above” on the vehicles.
Mr Johnson AM says that “unless TfL can add some opening windows and address other passenger and environmental concerns, these Roastmasters are simply not be fit for the future and will have no place on London’s streets during the summer months in years to come.”