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:
By the time I alighted at Westminster Cathedral, the temperature had reached 25.3°C:
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:
By the penultimate stop before White City Bus Station it was 28.6°C upstairs:
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:

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?

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