It’s pretty much exactly two years and six months since I got the go ahead from Editor Hallett to run a future bus design feature for Autocar’s Christmas 2007 edition.
My eye had been caught by a row between wannabe London mayor Boris Johnson (then Tory MP for Henley) and incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone (and his merry men at Transport for London).
‘Why,’ asked Boris, ‘can’t we bring back the Routemaster? And why does London have to suffer the Bendy bus?’
Boris was widely mocked as hopelessly naïve. Couldn’t he see that the Routemaster was olde England and only fit for the scrappy? The Bendy bus was all that was modern and inclusive.
Well, it was actually Ken Livingstone who followed the Routemaster bus into exile from the capital and Boris has delivered what was said to be undeliverable, by commissioning probably the most advanced bus in the world.
The New Bus for London is built around a light and long lasting aluminium chassis and powered by a self-charging electric drivetrain. It’s a bespoke design for the capital’s polluted and crowded streets. Even better, it will be made in the UK.