Boris Johnson, the new Mayor of London, has launched a competition to design a “New Bus for London, inspired by the iconic Routemaster.”
Speaking at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, Johnson said that a first prize of £25,000 would be offered to for the winning entry in the ‘design’ category. There will be two runner-up prizes of £10,000.
A second category dubbed ‘Imagine’ is seeking design ideas from members of public and non-expert bus enthusiasts.
He also praised Autocar’s ‘New Routemaster’ project, featured in the magazine last December, for helping to get the ball rolling.
“Autocar’s proposal won’t be the last word, but we, including Peter [Hendy, head of Transport for London] and David [Brown, Head of Surface Transport] have all taken a close look at it” Johnson said.
Although the Mayor and TfL chiefs say they have an open mind about the final form the bus might take, Peter Hendy suggested that the final design would be probably be powered by a hybrid transmission backed up by a “small” 2.4-litre engine.
Hendy also revealed that the TfL had already received interest from manufacturing companies from outside the bus industry. “It may be that the final design cannot be manufactured by a traditional bus maker,” he said.
The entry form for the competition states that the ‘whole bus’ designs have to be compliant with TfL bus specification guidelines.
The design must include fixed design elements, including a double deck layout, an open access platform at the rear near-side corner, space for 72 passengers, a low floor and room for a second crew member.