Currently reading: New London bus enters service
The replacement for the iconic London Routemaster bus has entered service today

The replacement for the iconic London Routemaster bus has entered service today. The New Bus for London will collect its first fares on the 38 route from Hackney to Victoria. The first bus will be joined by another seven prototypes by the end of May.

The new bus uses a 4.5-litre diesel engine to power an electric motor, which produces 1844lb ft from standstill. This technology means the 17,900kg vehicle emits 640g/km of CO2, which is half that of a current diesel-engined bus. Fuel economy of 11.6mpg is twice that of a standard bus.

In May 2011, an engineering test vehicle was unveiled at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. The vehicle underwent months of intensive structural, engineering and emissions testing and drove more than 6000 miles in conditions simulating London traffic.

Internal features include three entrances and two staircases to enable fast boarding and alighting of passengers, as well as an open rear platform. Other technology includes LED lighting, new hard-wearing fabric and wireless bell pushes.

In 2007, Autocar’s Associate Editor, Hilton Holloway began to consider what a 21st century version of the iconic London Routemaster would look like. A collaboration with Capoco Design resulted in the Routemaster Olympian, a concept which morphed into the New Bus for London.

The New Bus for London was the subject of Autocar's Christmas 2011 road test.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
weenedonpetrol 27 February 2012

Re: New London bus enters service

I'm a bit disappointed with this conversation as no-one has asked the really important question to us petrolheads; "Will it drift?" ;-))) Seriously though, I seem to remember reading somewhere, and I think it may have been in these hallowed pages, at the outset of the BorisBus project that it was supposed to have a 1.5 litre engine to act as the generator not a thumping great 4.5 litre monster. Why the need for a 300% growth in cubic capacity and therefore is this necessarily as environmentally friendly as it could be?

HiltonH 27 February 2012

Re: New London bus enters service

Hello. I was off today, in central London, stalking the new bus. I'll post some thoughts on the end of this extraordinary four year project tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you this thought.

The £11m cost of developing this bus from scratch is the same amount of money needed for just seven days subsidy for the London bus network.

Moreover, the cost of putting two lifts into Green park tube station was £97m....and when wheel chair users get down there, they can't get into the carriage.

The Colonel 27 February 2012

Re: New London bus enters service

sirwilliam wrote:
However, I do object to media outlets putting a gloss of perfection on what was far from a perfect project

But are they, really? OK, the process was less than perfect, but if there was the slightest sniff of impropriety the press, or some sections of it, would be all over it. A whiff of wrong doing aside, issues with the project have been reported, from the "it'll never happen", to the issue of moving away from the artics, and the most recent delay (by a whole week, heaven forefend!), and on top of that all news outlets (and MPs, GLA members, etc) take a good swipe at misreporting what the buses cost, without any reference to the R&D.