Boris' new Routemaster designs

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Friday 19 December 2008 1.39pm
TfL's website has the winning entries for the Routemaster competition.

They look rather like the old ones as you can see from this, which is one of the joint winners:
http://tinyurl.com/5xbwvg

With taxpayers paying out 82000 in prize money, it's clearly been worth every penny.
Friday 19 December 2008 1.46pm
82,000 is only 1/3 of a bendy bus. I know which I would rather have! London needs a new double decker for its narrow and crowded streets.

Bendy buses cause massive congestion at junctions and if you don't believe it pop down to New Oxford Street every afternoon and evening, Rosebery Avenue, Shaftesbury Avenue, Victoria... They only carry more because most people have to stand - clinging for dear life as the drivers pretend they're on the Monte Carlo Formula 1 circuit.

A double decker with two or three sets of doors will carry as many passengers, in more comfort, and will be as quick to board.
Friday 19 December 2008 1.51pm
I think a cross between the two designs would be good, bringing back a bus that is unique to London is good for British Design , manufacturing , and London's Identity, and will be good for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
Friday 19 December 2008 2.02pm
Both articulated buses and double-deckers have advantages. There is absolutely no reason why both can't have a role to play in London's transportation.

Articulated buses have been used in continental Europe, North America and many other places for decades without leading to the mass extermination of cyclists or pedestrians.

The competition for a new design was simply a silly publicity stunt. TfL states that,

"We will now pass the best designs and concepts on to bus manufacturers, so they can be developed into final design proposals."

Any bus manufacturer could have come up with these ideas in five minutes. The competition will have no discernible impact on the development of a new generation of buses for London.
Friday 19 December 2008 2.33pm
James Johnston wrote:

Any bus manufacturer could have come up with these ideas in five minutes. The competition will have no discernible impact on the development of a new generation of buses for London.

I'm not so sure both the designs ,realy stand out compared to the bog standard look of the modern double Decker or the bendy bus now in use.
Friday 19 December 2008 2.51pm
mickysalt wrote:

I'm not so sure both the designs ,realy stand out compared to the bog standard look of the modern double Decker or the bendy bus now in use.

To be honest, if you actually asked a bus manufacturer to design a bus that required twice the staffing levels and had an open rear end to allow cold air in and let children fall out, then I'm pretty sure they would come up with a similar design.

Besides, if they do stand out, it's in large part because they are computer generated prototypes. By the time they've made it to production, they will look much like existing buses.
Friday 19 December 2008 3.14pm
Articulated buses have been used in continental Europe, North America and many other places <b> that do not have London's tight streets</b> for decades.

Important to put that bit in.

Rockets have been used for transporting men to the moon for 40 years. It doesn't mean they are appropriate for taking commuters to Oxford Street.
Friday 19 December 2008 4.33pm
Personally I'm a fan of bendy buses - from a users point of view they are great - comfortable and everyone gets on and off quickly.

That said I think the Foster design is stunning and it would be great to see a bus of real beauty on the streets.
Friday 19 December 2008 5.42pm
Hardly anyone pays on a bendy bus.
Friday 19 December 2008 6.40pm
82,000 has been used to reward both professional design firms and youths for engaging in a 21st century transport problem. As we can see here it is not going to be solved overnight. It is money well spent and it is fun.

Also it's a drop in the ocean compared to the millions spent on buying and leasing bendies.

International examples have to be chosen carefully... most American and continental cities have wider and straighter streets - Central London is almost exclusively a medieval street pattern which survived the 1666 Great Fire. No boulevards were built except for Pall Mall/Oxford St/Piccadilly/Regent St, unlike Rome or Paris.

Berlin has wide and straight streets and uses bendy buses except for the more London-sized roads which have double deckers. They have 3 doors and are a bit longer.
http://www.bvg.de/index.php/en/Bvg/Detail/folder/689/id/2988/nb/1/name/The+bus+system . Copenhagen is the same.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan - all advanced and dense cities like London - use double-deckers for many routes. There are loads of them in Las Vegas, Chicago, Ontario, Seattle ...

Ultimately Boris was voted in on a clear commitment to 'ban the bendy bus' just like Ken was voted in to do the Congestion Charge. The CC had benefits for zone 1 residents and costs for outer London residents (i.e. voter friendly). Replacing the bendy bus has no obvious costs to anyone and might result in some gainful employment of conductors instead of losing fare revenues on the 'free buses'.
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