Mayor Johnson launches competition for new London bus

London mayor Boris Johnson has launched a competition to design a possible new 'green' replacement for the "much missed" jump-on, jump-off double-decker Routemaster bus.

Johnson and London's Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy were at the London Transport Museum to invite would-be designers to submit ideas, with the best entry winning a first prize of £25,000.

The red driver-and-conductor Routemasters were withdrawn from regular service in 2005.

In announcing the competition, Johnson said: "I made a commitment during the mayoral election campaign to hold a competition to design a brand new bus for London, based on the much-missed Routemaster, which was an icon of the capital.

"London deserves a bus fit for the 21st century, and I want as many people as possible to submit their ideas. Whether you're a professional designer who can submit a detailed plan or you are someone who uses buses every day and has one great idea that would make your journey better, we want to hear from you."

Johnson wants the new bus to have a stylish, imaginative design, which will have a big impact on the streets of London.

Key features designers must consider include an open platform to allow passengers to get on and off quickly and easily, a good use of interior space, accessibility and green technology.

Former mayor Ken Livingstone initially pledged to keep the Routemaster, saying in 2001 that "only some ghastly de-humanised moron" would want to get rid of it.

But by the end of 2005 there were no more Routemasters in regular service, with the bus now restricted to operating on popular tourist routes in London.

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