Routemaster Volume 1 - 1954-1969
Part 1 of this authoritative history of this iconic marque features over 200 photograph, many published here for the first time.The AEC Routemaster is a double-decker bus built by Associated Equipment Company (AEC) in 1954 (in production from 1958) until 1968. Front-engined buses generally with rear platforms, a small number were produced with doors and/or front entrances. Introduced by London Transport in 1956, the Routemaster saw continuous service in London until 2005, and remains on two heritage routes in central London. The Routemaster was developed by AEC in partnership with London Transport, the customer for nearly all new Routemasters, although small numbers were also delivered to the airline British European Airways (BEA) and the Northern General Transport Company. 2,876 Routemasters were built, with approximately 1,000 still in existence. A pioneering design, the Routemaster outlasted several of its replacement types in London, survived the privatisation of the former London Transport bus operators and was used by other operators around the UK. In modern UK public transport bus operation, the old-fashioned features of the standard Routemaster were both praised and criticised. The open platform, while exposed to the elements, allowed boarding and alighting away from stops; and the presence of a conductor allowed minimal boarding time and optimal security, but with greater labour costs. The Routemaster became one of London's most famous symbols, with much tourist paraphernalia continuing to bear Routemaster imagery, and with examples still in existence around the world. Despite its fame, the earlier and more numerous London bus classes that the Routemaster replaced (the RT-type AEC Regent and its Leyland Titan RTL and RTW counterparts) are often mistaken for Routemasters by the public and by the media. Despite the retirement of the original version, the Routemaster has retained iconic status, and in the late 2000s work began on an updated version, which entered service in February 2012.
Hardback with dust jacket, 152 pages black & white (and some colour) photographs
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Updated: 1 June 2020