Saturday, March 29, 2008

Back End of a Bus

Attractive bus backs now feature quite widely on Britain's buses. Operators have seized the opportunity to use blank rears artfully to highlight their own products. The use of 'real' people is a modification of Brighton & Hove's successful bus side "I'm on the Bus" campaigns.

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Friday, December 23, 2005

Service 73

Articulated buses such as this still receive a cool reception from passengers in London. Converted from Routemaster to Mercedes Benz Citaro operation in September 2004, service 73 (Seven Sisters/Stoke Newington – Victoria) remains one of London’s busiest bus routes. Even though it operates at about 5 minute intervals, there are plenty who would wish to see Routemasters retained on this route, because standing is often required over the central London section.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

London Icons

Instantly recognisable.

How many times have red London double deck Routemasters been used in movies to let audiences know that the film’s in London? Take the Ipcress File of 1965. As Michael Caine escapes from his stark Albanian prison, what’s the first scene that tells him and his shocked audience that he wasn’t in Tirana after all, but London? Yup, a London double deck, like one of the last on Service 159, above.

A lesser London icon of TV and film is the black London cab. In this shot, it’s not the sixties designed TX4 variant but a modern, faithful, sharper TX1, but instantly recognisable all the same.

Since the Routemaster can no longer legitimately be used by contemporary motion picture producers, they need to find other means. Have you noticed how the London Eye now commonly fulfills this role? It’s transport, but of a very different kind.

It’s unusual to see all three captured together. It’ll be rarer still in the future.

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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Eyes Have It

Operators these days see their vehicles as mobile adverts. When they have a service which is fast and frequent, why not use the bus to tell the world? The one drawback? Obscuring passenger vision, a problem for longer distance services. Here, the lady winks and can see all with her one open eye. But what about those on board?

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Reflections on Privatisation

Creative liveries flowed from the years immediately before and after deregulation in 1986. They represented a new optimism in the then newly privatised bus industry, as it symbolically swept away old greens and reds along with its old structures.

In their turn, these schemes fell to the acquisitive groups we have today.

Reflected along the glass of a First Group Wright Eclipse Gemini is a much earlier Bristol VR in post-privatisation Eastern National livery, an undertaking bought first by its management in December 1986 and subsequently sold to First Group.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Oh Routemaster

The most popular bus in the world. No other bus evokes the same feeling as the red London Transport bus, AKA the AEC Routemaster RM. Since its introduction in 1956, the RM has become a true icon. It's time is running out, though, and all will be withdrawn from passenger service in 2005, save for two special heritage routes.

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Bristol Retrospective

The prototype Bristol LS UHY 2 from 1951 with its attractive ECW bodywork poses next to another famous Bristol built product, Concorde, at Duxford in September 2005.

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