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Foster replaced on project to design new Routemaster bus

Foster + Partners has been dropped from London mayor Boris Johnson’s project to design a new Routemaster bus for the capital

Despite Foster winning a design competition back in 2008, it has emerged that project backer Transport for London (TfL) awarded the contract to design and build the bus to Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus in December last year.

Wrightbus was also given the designs of the top 27 entries to the original competition, ‘for consideration only’.

Johnson’s pledge to scrap the capital’s bendy buses and reintroduce the famous hop-on, hop-off Routemaster (taken out of regular service in 2005) was central to the campaign leading to his election in May 2008.

In December 2008, the mayor announced that Foster + Partners, together with Aston Martin, was joint winner in the competition alongside bus-design firm Capoco. Foster’s Routemaster featured cream leather seating, wooden floors and a glazed roof.

A spokesperson for TfL said: ‘Neither the Foster + Partners nor the Capoco [scheme] will be used as the final design.’

The £8 million contract with Wrightbus will deliver only five Routemaster buses, expected to be in operation by 2012.

Wrightbus is set to release images of its working design next month, which is understood to have a limited ‘open’ platform to the rear and two staircases – ‘not a Routemaster’, according to sources in the industry.

Foster + Partners was unavailable for comment.

Readers' comments (5)

  • £8mil ... for 5 buses?

    Wow bargain!! What a waste of peoples time and money.

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  • An example of what we can look forward to under a Tory Administration?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Boris has missed a big opportunity to ride on the back of London's traditional association with iconic design

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  • 8million to be spent on 5buses is a waste of money and its totally rediculious.. it just dont make sense, 8million pounds on 5buses!!! WHAT DOES boris THINK HE'S DOING! he needs to be sacked.. asap pls

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  • Hopefully the new designers have sat on a bus in a traffic jam in the sun and know how much radiated heat comes through even the best glass. I assume from the design that his lordship never has.

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