As reported by passengers yesterday, the latest batch of New Bus For London (or New Routemaster, as TfL now insist on calling the things) is unpleasantly hot and stuffy.

I boarded LT143 on route 148 at White City Bus Station at 1:26pm today. As the bus only had a couple of passengers onboard and hadn’t really got going yet, the temperature upstairs was “only” 23.2°C:
20140515_132548
By the time I alighted at Westminster Cathedral, the temperature had reached 25.3°C:
20140515_135958
Hot and stuffy, yes, and the horrible, stifling, plasticky smell present, but just about bearable.

LT126 on route 148 that I then boarded in the opposite direction, however, was another matter.

Fairly full upstairs, it *was* like a sauna – people were fanning themselves and a dog appeared to have died from heat exhaustion. 26°C:
20140515_141824
By the penultimate stop before White City Bus Station it was 28.6°C upstairs:
20140515_144802
Bad enough, but I decided to go downstairs and test the temperature on the back seat where the “conductor” would stand on a crewed bus – the 148 is driver only.

It was 29.4°C:
20140515_145830

I’ve no doubt that if I’d been downstairs in that seat for more than one stop that the thermometer would have climbed to 30°C or more. To those who have theorised that the “air cooling” works better on these vehicles when all the doors are shut between stops – evidently not.

Boris Johnson has committed to purchasing a total of 600 of these vehicles for use on bus routes in London so more and more Londoners will be subjected to these horrible travelling conditions. I feel very sorry for those whose local bus routes will be using these vehicles – temperatures in London are bound to rise further in the summer, so how will they cope and, more importantly, what are TfL and its Chair, Boris Johnson, going to do about it?

 

2 Responses to The Roastmaster Returns

  1. FreeBBC says:

    I just found something, if you scroll to 1:12 on the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu0i58Al0O4#t=71 you can see that the NRM in Hong Kong is stuffy as you can see passengers waving their fans to keep cool.

    Well the competitor Alexander Dennis which have their new Enviro400MMC have an air chill system which stays to a temperature of circa 17-18°C.

  2. RTC says:

    It would have been interesting to see what the temperatures would have been on a Scania Omnicity that use to be on the 148 but all those Scania’s have now been distributed elsewhere in London.The Scania have the most powerful AC Ive seen on a London Bus and even when people open the windows then the AC still adjusts to try and compensate.

    Buses with AC should adopt the Southern Trains method of windows.Locked windows to keep the heat and cool air in but unlockable in the event of a AC Failure.

    I think I read somewhere that glass with opening windows is more expensive than just a plain glass window(makes sense). If you arent going to put opening windows in then you need to make sure the AC works.

    Thankfully these buses will be on less than 10% of the entire network and I feel sorry for the fare paying passengers that had these put onto them and the rest of them hopefully can get around without being subjected to them.

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