New Routemasters To Cost £1.6m 'Each'

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 97 months ago
New Routemasters To Cost £1.6m 'Each'

Image by kenchie from the Londonist Flickr pool
We know the specification, roughly what it'll look like and who's building it, and now the Times have come up with how much Boris's new Routemaster buses will cost. And it works out at a massive £1.6m each - eight times more than a conventional double decker.

The Wrightbus contract is to design, build and test a prototype plus five buses for use on the roads before 2012, at a cost of £7.8m. The cost of any additional buses won't be more than £300k, but that's still £100k more than a standard double decker and £50k more than the hated bendy. Now, that might not be enough to plug the holes in TfL's colander-like budget but it's not helpful PR, especially when you get anonymous bus company execs telling the Times

"It is, frankly, farcical. We did not ask for the new Routemaster and I am not sure we would want them."

At that price, however, we kind of have to like them - we can't afford not to.

Last Updated 26 April 2010


The Olympic Park sculpture costs £19.1million and won't even go anywhere.


To be honest I couldn't give a stuff what bus company executives who are too gutless to comment on the record think.

I want nice buses, dammit, and I'd prefer TFL to waste my taxes on them than even more traffic lights and street sign junk.


"£50k more than the hated bendy" - and you'll need one and a half of them to do the same job.

I'd love super buses too - but you can't divorce transport policy from economics - these don't make sense.

An £18,000 bike instead?


I live on a major 24 hour bus corridor. The buses that currently pass every few minutes are much, heavier, and much, much noisier than the Routemasters and Metrobuses that they replaced a few years ago. The whole building shakes as they drive past, the manholes and drain covers have been shaken loose, and the road is full of deep potholes.

£1.6m is a lot of money. However radical new designs cost a lot to develop. The production cost of these new buses will be much lower, (assuming they go into production). If the new bus for London is lighter, quieter and more fuel efficient, as TfL claim, then it's a small price to pay for a huge step forward in the quality of the environment in London. And if, as suggested, they will have high-quality, durable bodywork and replaceable drive systems, there's no reason why they shouldn't be capable of being refurbished and lasting for 50 years, like tube trains do, and as the RMs did before them.

However, if they are just standard double deckers with Olde Worlde styling for the tourists, Boris will look like a total idiot and his prospects as Mayor (or future PM) will look very dim indeed.

So, woo! either way!!


“It is, frankly, farcical. We did not ask for the new Routemaster and I am not sure we would want them.”

Well we didn't ask for the Bendy Buses and we flippng well didn't want them.

Nick Cooper

Nonsense. Lots of people who actually use bendies can see the sense of them, and will lament their replacement with Boris's Red Elephants.


hope they have anti scracth windows i was on a bus recently with my 6 year old grandaughter and she wanted to know what c##t ment

Richard Huckle

What with the reported state of the English education system, I am amazed that the window scratcher could even spell that word?

Roger Clark

God what an attitude! Have you no pride in your city?The combined cost of developing the new prototype Routemaster bus and a contract for just eight production models has set Transport for London back £11.37m. Each new bus will cost £315,000 — equivalent to the cost of each of the 150 hybrid buses already on London's roads, say Tfl.