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First Look: Heatherwick’s new London Routemaster revealed

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These images show a full scale mock-up of Thomas Heatherwick’s new London Routemaster which, in prototype form, is planned to hit the capital’s streets in January 2012

Currently being fabricated in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, the 1:1 model is due to be shipped to London where it will take part in consultations with key stakeholders.

Interior details such as the placing of handrails have yet to be confirmed, however it is known the vehicle will be larger than the traditional Routemaster and will feature two staircases and three sets of doors.

Six of the buses are planned to enter active service from January 2012, with a further 600 expected to be operating by December that year.

The £8 million contract to build the six prototypes was awarded to Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus in December. Foster + Partners were part of a failed bid to win the job. In December 2008 Foster + Partners and Aston Martin were joint winners with Capoco Design of a design concept competition for the bus.

Transport for London in January appointed Thomas Heatherwick Studio to work on the design of the vehicle.

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