Yes, summer is definitely here and so are the very real problems with the temperature and humidity on Boris Johnson’s vanity bus.

Just a few weeks ago, TfL Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy was dismissing the unacceptably hot and humid conditions on these brand new vehicles as “a folk myth” – so how are passengers really finding the buses in these normal early-summer temperatures?

Note that a number of the sweltering passengers specifically refer to the 148 – the route which runs without a platform attendant and therefore has its rear door closed between bus stops.

According to Peter Hendy, not having opening windows makes the air “conditioning” work more effectively so it should follow that keeping the doors closed as much as possible also increases its efficacy. Nah, mate.

As for the routes which do have platform attendants for some of the day, here’s another example of the futility of their non-jobs:

There was a very old-school platform attendant on the 390 that I took from Bloomsbury Street towards Notting Hill last Friday lunch time – he warned me that the bus was hardly moving before I touched in with my Oyster. He was right – it took half an hour to get to Cambridge Circus, a distance that can be walked in a mere 11 minutes. Glad to see the Mayor of London’s “smoothing traffic flow” agenda is working so well.

I did take some photos inside the bus so let’s see how the interior of LT13, one of the very first batch of New Bus For London vehicles, is coping with wear and tear afer just a year on the streets of London – these vehicles are supposed to have a working life of 14 years in the city.

Upstairs, the moulding around the top of the window above the rearmost seat – I always inspect this area as it never seems to be put together in the same way on any two buses. On LT13, the moulding is visibly cracked and out of alignment with filthy black soot all around it and a drip of black paint behind it:

I only had to look down towards the middle of the top deck to find another example of WrightBus’s great workmanship:

Come to London this summer and travel on our brand new, bespoke buses – ideal if you fancy a mobile sauna and like inspecting bare wires and broken panelling!


9 Responses to Here Comes Summer! Free Sauna With Every “New Routemaster” Trip

  1. FreeBBC says:

    The question is why can’t the air-chill system be modified and have it manually done to blow out cold air instead of the computer system blowing out hot air on a hot day. Plus going back what the BBC said on Mid September 2013 where there is windows openings on the list of alterations.

    All what passengers need is fresh air from the outside to blow inside the bus like you can do with other buses. Currently today few EH’s on route 11.

    Roll on the Enviro400MMC’s and Optare Metrodecker

  2. Wow. What is going on with the build on those buses? I have never seen anything that shabby on such a recently built vehicle. Frankly, what is my tax money being spent on?

  3. RTC says:

    Truther..There are better places to discuss what the Govt is doing.This is all about Boris and what he(s doing or done in London. Probaly better to find another blog if transport isfues arent your thing.
    Andrew was referring to the money he pays to TFL that they have used to buy theses buses as they couldnt lease them so I doubt you can blame the Condem Govt for the roastmaster,more likely Boris because he greenlighted it.

  4. RTC says:

    Some of those Tweets are funny and quite a few from people that havent got a clue.Air Conn cant be installed afterwards,Driver has no control over it and the guy moaning about the No.11 always stopping at Sloane Sq and that TFL cant regulate the service.If it stops at Sloane Sq then it is regulating ;-) Although Traffic is that slow in London then its a good day if a Zone 1/2 bus is running early.

    25c on Friday in London so going to be another hot one.If a proper A/C unit was in it then no opening windows may work as PHendy’s principle is correct but it just doesnt work with this set up. They need an A/C unit from a Enviro 400 or Scania Omnicity to do the job and that is probaly too power hungry for the batteries on the RM’s so this is all that would work with the power left after other drains on the battery.

    When I travelled on that 24 back in October then it sounded like a 747-200 starting up when the air conn kicked in and was useless and this was on a warm day in October. Im sure PHendy called it Air cooling and not Air Con.

    It doesnt work,how long before they have to admit there is a problem.Its useless in the Uk so how they can think they can sell it aboard is beyond me.

    Even the Army dont seem to like Boris either as they fired 62 times from an Artillery Gun from the Tower of London at City Hall today and they missehd every time!!! They obviously heard he was in residence today ?

    What buses are put on Night Buses? Im taking it Night Bus passengers are lucky and get proper buses on the N Network?

  5. RTC says:

    As per normal I forgot to mention something :-)

    I doubt the RM’s will be in as good condition in 12 years time as the 2002 VP’s ( Volvo President) that have been running through some of the more ‘debateable’ area’s for 12 years and have survived looking almost like new.

    Have you sent those photos to TFL and asked for a response at the very least the CCTV panel picture is dangerous and should it fall then they could find themselves on the end of a law suit if it falls on a passenger.

    How long before we start getting Passenger ill on Bus as we get Passenger ill on Train? Would anyone notice on a bus though?

  6. RTC says:

    Friday the temp could reach 27c and thats in the shade! It’ll be warmer in direct sunlight and even warmer through glass and a sealed box.

    I saw a photo of a RM in Adidas full livery advertising the World Cup on FB which is quite ironic as being on a RM at 27c maybe able to start to replicate the conditions of Qatar so maybe put the England Squad to get them aclimatised ;-)

  7. TheRealRMT says:

    I dread to think how people were managing today on the 148s… I was at Shepherds Bush, but thankfully in an air-conditioned car… I thought Boris had fixed this fault last year when people kicked off about the same thing?

    Soon, there will be NO conductors anywhere on these buses, so they’ll become ‘free’ like the Bendies were, depending on conscience… But at least the Bendies had windows that opened and air-con of sorts.

    A friend of mine who’s a bit of a desperado said he was keen to meet a hot woman. I directed him to the nearest 148 bus :)

  8. Greg Tingey says:

    Comments on this over at “London Reconnections” too!
    Actually, I think it’s not actual air-con (just a biog com) it’s air-cooling & not very effective at that …
    The simple solution is to rip out the air pumps & pipes, thus saving weight, & fit opening windows & be done with it.
    Can’t see something so sensible happening, can you?

  9. robert says:


    The almighty sizzle 38 Routemaster, was so hot and steamy, I got off and caught an older bus 73 to avoid that plastic can on wheels.

    The seats also have less leg room ! and are extremely uncomfortable compared to their older buses, which are now a joy to catch…. I will skip a new Routemaster for an older bus any day.

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