The new Routemaster buses for London that have courted so much controversy over the course of the year since they were introduced, are undergoing a £2m makeover – to be fitted with windows that actually open.
The new design of bus were nicknamed ‘Roastmasters’ by commuters as the windows on the top decks didn’t open, and temperatures were recorded onboard of over 30c, at which it would be illegal to transport cattle.
There are 550 of the buses across London’s transport network, and a further 250 on order will have the new windows already fitted. TfL Director of Buses, Mike Weston spoke to the Evening Standard, saying “We’re pleased they’ve now been able to come up with an affordable and working design to install opening windows, which we anticipate will have been installed across our entire fleet by next summer”.
The mayor had initially said opening windows would overwork the air cooling system and cause more emissions to be pumped out from the bus, telling the London assembly in June: “It would not be desirable to make air-cooling units work harder to nullify the effects of warmer air entering the bus through open windows”. However, this U-Turn will now see the entire fleet re-fitted.
Labour’s London assembly transport spokeswoman, Val Shawcross, said she welcomed the change after “years of suffocating journeys on overheated buses. But the paying public has been left to fork out £2m for more upgrades to what was supposed to be a state-of-the-art vehicle”.
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Photo credit: Wikimedia
Author Lex Barber