LONDON, 02-6-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — A fully illustrated book entitled London’s New Routemaster, which tells the official story of the first bus designed specifically for the capital in more than 50 years, has been launched today (Thursday 29 May).
The book, which is published by Merrell in association with Transport for London (TfL), includes contributions from key personnel involved in the design and manufacturing process and takes a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of a bus that is already proving a popular successor to the much-loved Routemaster.
Released during Year of the Bus, the book places the New Routemaster in the context of its predecessors, from horse-drawn double-deckers to the revolutionary Routemaster.
The New Routemaster was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, who was responsible for the stunning Olympic cauldron, and is engineered and manufactured by the family owned Wrightbus company in Northern Ireland.
It’s the greenest diesel electric double deck hybrid bus in the world; in tests a prototype bus was found to emit a quarter of the NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) and ‘PM’ (Particulate Matter) of a fleet average hybrid bus and 20 per cent less CO2.
When all 600 are in service in 2016 they will reduce CO2 emissions in the capital by around 20,600 tonnes a year.
Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “In London, buses make a real difference to the way we live, how we get about and the manner in which this remarkable city operates. The New Routemaster is not only visually stunning but also has very low emissions, multiple doors for fast boarding and looks set to recapture the affections of Londoners and visitors to the city in much the same way that its iconic predecessor did on its introduction 60 years ago.”
The Year of the Bus celebrates the vital role buses play in the capital and seeks to re-connect Londoners with their bus network and remind people of the crucial part that London buses, the bus drivers and the staff who support them, play in keeping London moving 24 hours a day throughout the year.
A range of events and activities are being staged in 2014 to celebrate buses and to mark a number of important anniversaries.
This includes 60 years since the creation of the original and iconic Routemaster, 75 years since the launch of its predecessor the RT-type bus and 100 years since hundreds of London buses were sent to the Western Front to play a crucial role during the First World War.
The introduction of New Routemaster buses is part of a comprehensive programme to reduce emissions from London’s bus fleet which includes 1,700 hybrids on the street by 2016, accelerating the introduction of ultra low emission Euro VI buses and retrofitting 900 older buses to reduce their NOx emissions by up to 88 per cent.
- Author Tony Lewin is a former editor of What Car? magazine, and launched Financial Times Automotive World. His numerous books on design and the automobile industry include A-Z of 21st-Century Cars (Merrell)
- London’s New Routemaster (£25 Merrell Publishers www.merrellpublishers.com) explores the complex challenges – technical, environmental, political, economic and aesthetic – involved in designing a bus that is intended to deliver the best possible experience for passengers. Interviews with key figures working on the project reveal how Transport for London, manufacturers Wrightbus and design consultants Heatherwick Studio formed a highly unusual yet remarkably smooth-running partnership to devise ingenious solutions to these challenges. Their quest to create a bus for twenty-first century London has resulted in a groundbreaking replacement for the globally recognised Routemaster
- The book contains more than 200 illustrations, forewords from Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and designer Thomas Heatherwick, as well as a preface from London’s Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE and an introduction from Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport
- For further information and review copies, please contact: Elizabeth of Mar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07870 276 375
- New Routemaster buses now operate across seven routes in the capital (9, 10, 11, 24, 38, 148 and 390). The route 8 will be converted in June
- Further details of Year of the Bus can be found at: www.tfl.gov.uk/yearofthebus