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Aston Martin wins opportunity to design new Routemaster bus

20-Dec-2008 • Bond Style

A new version of the much-loved, jump-on, jump-off Routemaster bus will be on the streets of London "by 2011", it has been announced.

The Rye & Battle Observer reports the new-look, stylish, "greener" double-decker could be based on ideas put forward by James Bond's favourite car company Aston Martin and by legendary architect firm Foster and Partners.

London mayor Boris Johnson announced that the Aston Martin and Foster's design came joint first in a competition to design the successor to the driver-and-conductor Routemaster which was taken out of regular service at the end of 2005.

The other joint winner was bus, coach and truck design company Capoco Design, which is based at Salisbury in Wiltshire.

The winning designs will now be passed on to bus manufacturers to develop into a final proposed design.

Transport for London said: "We expect to award a contract to develop and build the first new bus for London towards the end of next year, after a competitive tendering process. The first of the new buses will be on the streets of London by 2011."

Under Lord Foster, Foster and Partners has been responsible for a number of major projects including London's Millennium Bridge and the capital's 30 St Mary Axe, better known as the Gherkin.

The Aston Martin/Foster bus design envisages a highly-manoeuvrable, zero-emissions vehicle, with drive-by-wire, solar panels built into a glass roof, a vehicle accessible for all, with warm lighting and wooden floors.

Under the leadership of Alan Ponsford, the Capoco design combines what the company describes as "the best of the old with the best of the new" with a low flat floor to allow easy access and low emissions but retaining the Routemaster-style front engine, open rear platform and individual face.

More than 700 entries were received in a competition, in which children were also invited to take part.

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