Route Rat

By DeusExMacintosh

London Mayor Boris Johnson is a Route Rat

London tourists got something of a surprise on Friday – Boris Johnson delightedly gurning from the open rear platform of the capital’s new double-decker bus.

The mayor’s manifesto pledge to erase the practical yet unloved bendy bus and restore the alleged freedom of the Routemaster’s open entrance has – in part – finally been delivered. Eight of the prototypes will come into service early next year, with the first running on route 38 from Victoria to Clapton.

“It is, of course, complete coincidence that the first one runs past my house,” chortled Johnson, who seeks re-election next May.

Officially it is the New Bus for London but, like London’s Barclays bikes, it is eventually likely to be christened the Boris Bus. Moving quickly from platform to driver seat to passenger door, the mayor said it was “a bus designed here in London, styled here in London, built in Britain.” The bus had the domed look of the capital, he said: “St Pauls, a taxi, a bowler hat.”

More spacious than the old Routemaster and bigger than current double deckers, the bus has clearly won the affection of TfL supremos Peter Hendy and Leon Daniels, who took turns to drive it from City Hall . “A fabulous turning circle,” said Daniels.

TfL tests have apparently shown that the prototype, designed by London-based Heatherwick Studio and built by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland, will emit half the carbon and nitrogen pollution and run on half the fuel of the average diesel double decker.

The Guardian

7 Comments

  1. Posted December 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    It is funny if you pronounce “routemaster” as “rootmaster”.

  2. Posted December 19, 2011 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    The Brits do, SATP, provoking much mirth among Australians and Kiwis.

  3. kvd
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Many jellyfish have four canals and thus exhibit tetramerous symmetry. But I prefer the clover variety.

  4. kvd
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Don’t nag an old ram LE. But I’d willingly share my joie de vivre 😉

  5. BCS
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    How very quaint. Perhaps he should spend a bit more time trying to deal with gangs that board buses and rob passengers.

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