Following our first post in anticipation of Transport for London’s Year of the Bus Auction to begin March 24th on i-bidder.com, below are some interesting facts about the famous London Routemaster Bus:
- The London Routemaster was designed with the intention of building a vehicle that was lighter, more fuel efficient, easier to operate and maintained at a lower cost. As well as fulfilling these needs, the end product seated 64 passengers compared to the previous 56 and was also three quarters of a ton lighter than previous models despite also being wider.
- The Routemaster replaced electric trolley buses which were originally built to act as substantial tram replacements.
- The organisation that built the buses had also aided the production of Halifax bomber aeroplanes during the Second World War, hence the lighter weight.
- The first Routemaster was initially shown to the public at the Earl’s Court Commercial Motor Exhibition on 24 September 1954.
- The Routemaster served the London Country Bus Service, therefore some buses were painted green so that they were readily accepted in rural areas. It became known as ‘The Green Line.’
- The Routemaster survived the privatisation of London bus services during the 1980’s and outlived many of its replacements.
- Despite the buses enduring popularity, the Routemaster was officially withdrawn from service on 9 December 2005.
- The bus even has its very own association, ‘The Routemaster Association’ which was founded in the 1980’s to support the bus owners and operators during the buses withdrawal from service.
- A total of 2,876 Routemasters were built, and it is estimated that 1,280 are still in existence, mainly for display purposes.
And lastly… if you fancy a ride aboard an original Routemaster, a handful are used on bus route 15 in London as a tourist attraction!
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of this iconic bus, visit i-bidder.com to bid on one of the 57 individually designed buses available for auction.