Prototype of Heatherwick’s new London bus unveiled

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled a full-size prototype of the Heatherwick Studio-designed New Bus for London at the London Transport Museum’s depot in Acton.

Heatherwick Studio has been working with Wrightbus and Transport for London to realise the design since January.

The consultancy was brought on the project after an initial competition selected a concept by Capoco Design and a collaborative entry by Foster & Partners and Aston Martin in 2008.

Set to launch in 2012, the new bus features an open boarding platform and interior decking, taking inspiration from the old Routemaster.

Two staircases are built in – the rear is encased with a window that follows the contour of the stairwell.

The mock-up will be used to ‘fine-tune the design’, Transport for London says, and Johnson explains that the bus ‘brings back a sense of nostalgia, but conversely also demonstrates the quintessence of the latest technology and 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.

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  • George Foster November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Ummmm… apart from a tacked on open entrance at the rear doesn’t it look a tad like all the other buses in any city in the world? I thought it was going to have some of the iconic references to the original Routemaster? It’s all very ‘nice’ but hardly original in the way the RM was. Sorry, does nothing for me.

  • tim pope November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    A sorry state of affairs and a sad reflection of British design!

  • Tom Lancaster November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What’re the odds they become known as the pirate bus – quite cute.

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