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Check out London’s newest ‘Red Bus’

TRANSIT learned recently that the “New Routemaster” double decker bus design has been unveiled at the London Transport Museum‘s Acton Depot.

The new bus by Wrightbus was chosen as part of a design contest to revive the much loved London Routemaster double decker bus and eliminate articulated (“bendy”) buses – a campaign pledge of current Mayor of London (and Chair of Transport for London) Boris Johnson in 2008.

A classic London Transport Routemaster bus is paired with the model of the 'New Routemaster' at the London Transport Museum - images courtesy of

Front and back views of the bus after the jump:

Front and back views of the model of the "New Routemaster" bus unveiled at the London Transport Museum. Images courtesy of


Although many people have criticized the call to replace the “bendy” buses (which have the advantage of 3 doors for boarding and alighting, against the disadvantage of their 18m length) and the design contest, we at TRANSIT cannot help but be intrigued by Boris Johnson’s pushy attitude and his ‘homage’ (as it were) to London’s most famous transport icon.

As you can imagine a lot of people have a lot to say about the contest and the new mock-up. Check out these comments in The Guardian, which describes the front view as suggesting “an eyepatch”.

There is also this 8-image photo gallery. and this page has video of comments from the Mayor on the special features of the bus (such as 3 doors, two stairwells and a ‘hop-on-hop-off’ rear door) and how it will influence design cues of other double decker buses used in London.

And who knows if the design will influence design for double decker buses which might find their way onto Malaysian shores in 2011 or 2012 (in Penang)?

What do you think of the “New Routemaster” design by Wrightbus? Let us know your thoughts in the space below.

2 replies on “Check out London’s newest ‘Red Bus’”

Good question @Hazman

This source says that the contract requires a capacity of at least 87 passengers (which is the current capacity of the Wright Gemini 2 model). Another source is saying the seating capacity will be 22 (lower deck) + 40 (upper deck) plus a wheelchair bay, with capacity for 25 standees.

We believe that structurally the bus will be a modification of an existing double deck bus design with the addition of the rear “hop-on-hop-off” platform and stairwell.

If this is the case then there would be no major decrease in capacity except for perhaps 4 seats lost or shifted to make way for the upper rear stairwell opening.

Since this bus is just a mock-up, final seating configuration has not yet been determined, but we will keep you updated as we get new information.

Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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