Boris Johnson is backing a plan to bring Routemasters back into action, with electric motors and no emissions, and the reintroduction of drivers and conductors on each bus. With characteristic swiftness, Ken Livingstone has taken opposition to the plan and Londoners are once again torn between the two views on the possible return of the famous big red bus.
For a brief set by Autocar magazine, design company Capaco came up with the electric motors, wheelchair and pushchair ramps, emission-free revamp which the shambolic Henley MP and Tory Mayoral candidate has embraced as the shape of the future. Which says a lot about the Tory idea of the future which they would clearly prefer to look antique and traditional. Ken meanwhile is quick to point out that this redesign of the Routemaster will drive up ticket prices and will still fail to address all the access and safety issues that led to the Routemaster fleet being taken out of action in 2005.
Considering how beloved the Routemaster is to Londoners and London's visitors, and considering how keen we are to be a green city, would a fare increase from 90p to £1.50 per journey be worth it? And would Routemasters be worth having on the streets again if they don't make that comforting puttering noise at red lights and instead make a thin electric hum? Your throughts please in the usual place.