The Wrightbus product is by now a notable, if not dominant aspect of London's central district bus services with its rounded features and open rear platform design. Whereas on introduction it was very much a novelty - now the fleet of these vehicles (unique to London for the moment) are a major factor in the shoals of red double deck buses which give the capital some added distinction.
Hundreds have been delivered to date and further tranches are on order given their popularity and especial styling. Whilst those with longer memories recall with fondness the equally distinctive RT / RTL and RTW exposed radiator designs and their replacements - the RM and RML (and RMC) 1950s and 1960s products - the Borismaster takes a bit of getting used to, or fond of. A few Routemasters have been kept for nostalgia purposes on a handful of routes commonly used by visitors - (and not Tours) - and these continue to be fairly frequent sights day in day out in the West End.
A lineup of 'Borismasters' heading along Piccadilly on Wednesday this week.
If for nothing else the current Mayor of London will be forever known for his very public antipathy to those awful 'bendibuses' which he vowed to rid London of in his initial electoral campaigns (and succeeded in doing so). Equally fervent was his wish to see a 'Mark II' replacement for the classic Routemaster design - and this has come to pass in vast numbers. Of course Blackpool is no stranger either to Routemasters. One of the very early decisions of the fledgling BTS company in 1986 was to introduce Routemasters (second hand of course) on the Number 12 Service to Squires Gate along Lytham Road. I believe ten or twelve examples were part of the Rigby Road fleet for several years. Most recently the former Classic Bus and currently Catch22Bus operations manage to surprise customers on their services by assigning one of their Routemasters on to a regular service duty. This includes the standard London Transport colours and styling.
Borismasters stand out even more with all over advertising sponsorship creatively applied - as can be seen in the examples below. A plaque denotes their lineage.
All Images : John Woodman