A concept by Capoco Design and a collaborative entry by Foster & Partners and Aston Martin were announced as winners of a design competition at the end of 2008.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said at the time that parts of the winning designs would potentially be used to create a new bus for London to replace the Routemaster, adding, ‘The winning designs are not a single idea to be taken into development.’
Wrightbus Design was appointed to the design and build of the New Bus for London in January. The company has been working with Heatherwick Studio, which is collaborative design partner taking the lead on the styling of the bus.
The new double-decker design uses lightweight materials, with glass highlighting key features. A glass ‘swoop’ at the rear and offside pick out the two staircases.
The bus also features an open platform, which will allow for a hop-on/hop-off service, like the previous Routemaster design.
It is claimed that the design is 15 per cent more efficient than existing hybrid buses, and 40 per cent more efficient than conventional diesel double-deckers.
A static mock-up of the bus is expected to be completed later this year, with the first prototype to be delivered next year. The new buses are expected to enter service from early 2012.
Johnson says, ‘This iconic new part of our transport system is not only beautiful, but also has a Green heart beating beneath its stylish, swooshing exterior. It will cut emissions, and give Londoners a bus they can be proud of, complete with cutting-edge design, and the freedom of an open platform.’
He adds, ‘I expect to eventually have hundreds of these on London’s roads, and for cities around the globe to be beside themselves with envy for our stunning red emblem of 21st-century London.’