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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

London's Illuminating Buses

For someone knowledgable about Blackpool's illuminated tramcars past and present - (see our 2016 Illuminated Tram Calendar featuring wonderful creations through the years since the 1920s) it was something of a surprise to find lighting effects being used on the exterior of (some) London buses during a visit this week.

Technology has definitely moved on since the screw in socket and coloured light bulb era ! Whilst the buses parading on London's busy streets are not quite in the same league as Blackpool's famous illuminated trams - they are nonetheless a harbinger of probably more exotic designs and features to come.

Disney Movies and M&S were the two sponsors/advertisers utilising this new lighting technology on mid deck panels for their products and promotions. Some considerable time previously translucent panelling with inbuilt back lighting was used on British double deck buses in major cities - but very selectively. Automatic bus washing equipment and other wear and tear on the vehicle exterior (low hanging trees and other greenery) wasn't kind to plastic fixtures and usage of this prototype advertising format lapsed.

However the newest version looks like being a more familiar feature, if not in Blackpool, then certainly in major urban centres starting of course with London and with sponsor of major brands.

A glimpse of the illuminated designs - not of the best quality - gives an idea of what is to come and possibly provides some demonstrative lessons for Blackpool's own illuminated trams in the future.

Blurry snap on Oxford Street - but the concept stands out all the same.......

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