First Passengers Jump Aboard New London Bus

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will today deliver on his manifesto pledge to introduce a 21st century bus that draws inspiration from the iconic Routemaster, as the first new bus for London enters passenger service.

The bus, built by Ballymena's Wrightbus, will pick up its first fare paying customers in Hackney at around midday as it plies its trade on one of the Capital's busiest bus routes, the 38, which runs between Victoria and Hackney.

This first bus will be quickly joined by a further seven prototypes at a rate of one every couple of weeks as they roll off the Wrightbus production line where a team of 25 engineers and a 40-strong production team have built the prototype buses.

All eight prototypes will be in service by the end of May.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "From today Londoners will have the chance to jump aboard this stunning piece of automotive architecture on which every feature is tailored to the London passenger.

"It represents the very best in British design, engineering and manufacture and is a demonstration of what can be done given imagination and determination.

Imagination and determination

"But it's not just a pretty face. The green innards of this red bus mean that it is twice as fuel efficient as a diesel bus and the most environment-friendly of its kind.

"When ordered in greater numbers it will make a significant economic contribution to the manufacturing industries, while also helping deliver a cleaner, greener and more pleasant city."

The new bus has a host of exciting and innovative features including three entrances and two staircases to enable fast boarding and alighting of passengers; the reintroduction of an open rear platform; LED lighting; new seating moquette and wireless bell pushes.

The new bus utilises the very latest green engine technology and is the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind.

The Mayor first announced his intention to create a new bus in the run up to the 2008 Mayoral election.


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