The launch of a new London Bus doesn’t come around very often. Indeed, it is the first bus in more than 50 years to be designed specifically for the Capital’s streets.
The new design makes use of lightweight materials, with glass highlighting key features and producing a light and airy feel inside the bus. The interior and external styling of the bus was developed with help from the design-house, Heatherwick Studio and the buses are to be manufactured by Wrightbus based in Northern Ireland.
The bus has a step-free gangway on the lower deck from the front to the back, allowing ease of access for people with mobility impairments and passengers with buggies & a large wheelchair bay directly opposite the ramped centre door. Passengers are alerted to the next stop by audio and visual announcements. There’s also a T-Loop system which transmits announcements for passengers with hearing aids.
The bus uses the latest green diesel-electric hybrid technology and is the one of the best performing bus of its kind in the world. In test conditions, it produced around half the carbon dioxide and a quarter of the particulate matter and nitrogen oxides of conventional diesel buses and is more fuel-efficient.
It operates with a battery pack, which powers the electric motor driving the wheels on the bus. The battery is charged by a generator and through regenerative braking (where the system recycles the energy lost during the braking motion). Stop-start technology means the engine only runs when it needs to charge the battery.
The specifications for the new bus are:
- Length: 11.2m
- Height: 4.4m
- Width: 2.5m
- Turning circle: 21m
- Capacity: 87 (40 seated on upper deck, 22 seated and 25 standing on lower deck
- Un-laden weight: 12 tonnes
- Engine: 4.5 litre diesel
- Max speed: 50 mph
Further information on the new bus, its initial routes and other information can be found at http://bit.ly/aiwKec