Heatwave! On The 24 Bus

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 58 months ago
Heatwave! On The 24 Bus

NB4L_050713The coming heatwave is going to be fun if you're drinking on a roof terrace, swimming in a lido or basking in a park, but if you're on public transport you're going to turn into a puddle of sweat. We know this, it's one of the trade-offs of living in London. But passengers upstairs on the New Bus for London may have it worst.

We've been seeing complaints on Twitter for a while about a lack of air conditioning and windows that don't open. So has TfL; they assured BBC's Tom Edwards earlier in the week that the problems had been solved. Not so, found the Evening Standard and bloggers at Boriswatch. Both recorded temperatures of 30 degrees on the top deck on Thursday, which the Standard points out is the maximum temperature for transporting animals in Europe. (Both however, lack a control to see how hot it was on non-NB4L buses.)

Apparently designer Thomas Heatherwick deliberately didn't include opening windows because of fears it would interfere with the efficiency of the air cooling systems, now compulsory on all new buses. And they probably would, when the system's up and running; but the way the chillers seem to have failed on all the NB4Ls points perhaps to a manufacturing or design flaw. It's all horribly bad timing as TfL launched its annual 'beat the heat' plan yesterday.

If you find yourself sweltering on an upper deck TfL wants you to tell them – get in touch on 0845 300 7000 or customerservices.buses@tfl.gov.uk.

Photo by McTumshie from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 05 July 2013


For now i would nickname it the Saunamaster or the Ovenmaster. TFL need to withdraw the buses and get them fixed as quickly as possible! On the heatwave days TFL need to bring back the conventional Double decker buses back onto the route temporarily till the NBFL's are fixed.

The truth is, whenever theres a new bus type, there may be possibilities that something can go wrong!

Anyone travels between Camden Town to Trafalgar Square, take the route 29 bus for now.

Bratz Fannigan

Oversold, expensive, tubby and full of hot air - the Borismaster is truly a bus in its maker's image.


This happened when Croydon Tramlink first started running, with the trams becoming very hot in summer weather, despite their on-board ventilation system. The remedy was simply to add further opening windows. A breeze through a window beats any air-cooling system, especially if it can't cope! An open window also saves energy if the air-cooling system is set right; it has to recognise natural ventilation as being more beneficial than cooling.


Been on the 24 twice on Sunday - cooling system ok.