Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a year-long celebration of the capital’s bus network.
2014 marks a number of important anniversaries for London buses, including the 60th anniversary of the original Routemaster and the 75th anniversary of its predecessor, the RT-Type.
It is also 100 years since scores of B-Type buses – the world’s first mass produced motor bus – were commandeered for service on the Western Front during the First World War for use as troop carriers and ambulances.
Transport for London and the London Transport Museum will collaborate on a programme of events and activities celebrating the past, present and future of the London bus.
Confirmed activities include the restoration of a B-Type bus and a major exhibition at the museum exploring the contribution of buses and bus drivers to the First World War.
There will also be a bus cavalcade in which historic vehicles from the last century return to the capital’s roads.
Additionally, one of the Mayor’s flagship New Bus for London vehicles – now referred to by TfL as ‘New Routemasters’ – will be painted silver for service through central London on bus route 10.
Announcing the Year of the Bus programme, Mayor Johnson said: “London buses are the pulsing red arteries of the capital, 24-hours a day, 364 days of the year and they play an undeniably important role in the city’s economy.
“The history of London’s bus network is a fascinating one, from George Shillibeer’s early horse-drawn omnibuses to today’s world leading New Routemaster, and this year we will celebrate the central role the bus has played, and will continue to play, in the life of our capital.”
Leon Daniels, Managing Director for Surface Transport at TfL, said: “In London people make more than 2.3 billion bus journeys a year – more than are made in the rest of England.
“This year will see a richly-deserved celebration of the humble bus from its origins in the 19th century to today, and also look at what the future holds for this crucial part of London’s transport network.”