London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that Capoco Design and a collaborative entry from Foster & Partners are the winners of Transport for London’s New Bus for London competition.
The joint winners were awarded £25 000 each for the Whole Bus Design prize. The Capoco Design entry incorporates a lightweight structure and hybrid propulsion. Aston Martin and Foster & Partners’ design features a drive-by-wire system and solar panels built into a glass roof.
Lottie Duke and Rhys Wyman won two separate prizes for in the ‘Element’ category.
Johnson says parts of the winning designs will potentially be used to create a new Routemaster bus for London, adding, ‘The winning designs are not a single idea to be taken to development.’
Johnson had pledged to bring back the Routemaster, which had been replaced by bendy buses, during his campaign to become Mayor of London.
The manufacture of the buses will be subject to a further tendering process, prototyping and testing. Johnson says, ‘We aim to have a considerable number in general production by 2012,’ and referred to ‘a timetable of doom for bendy buses’, 80 per cent of which he expects to be off the road by 2012.
London’s transport commissioner Peter Hendy says a notice to tender will be issued in the new year to British motor manufacturers.
Johnson adds that he ‘doesn’t believe’ that the winning entries – which display open rear platforms – ‘pose a risk’, adding, ‘It’s something people should be sensible about.’
He adds that the Foster & Partners/Aston Martin design was chosen partly for its aesthetics – ‘especially the rear end’ and the fact that ‘it was built with a nod to the old bus, with its wooden flooring’.
In the Imagine A Bus For London competition, the over-18 category was won by Frances Faulder of Kilburn, London.
The shortlisted entries and winners will be displayed at an exhibition at London’s Transport Museum, which will open on 14 February.