There's a new bus on London's roads, as a fleet of eco-friendly double-deckers is introduced to the 63 route — and they're fitted with some nifty mod cons, too.
Manufactured by Scarborough-based ADL, the all-electric buses feature a skylight towards the front of the upper deck, large rear window, and handles on the backs of seats (rather than vertical poles), creating an all-round more spacious, open feel than previous London buses.
As for those who like to catch up on their fave Netflix series (or geeky YouTube transport videos) while commuting to and from work, the backs of seats are fitted not only with USB sockets (which have previously been a feature on some London buses) but phone holders too. How thoughtful.
Other improvements include 'stop' buttons in the backs of seats; a larger wheelchair and buggy area than other London double-deckers; and digital signage providing real-time information including time to the next stop, as well as traffic disruptions, and tube/Overground service updates.
The buses, running between Honor Oak and King's Cross, have been in development over the past couple of years, the first ones trickling into service in December 2021. By spring 2022, the whole 63 route will be comprised of them.
TfL wants to make all of its buses zero-emission by 2034 (we learned more about this on a recent visit to Stockwell Bus Garage), but says it could hit this target even sooner, with reliable government funding. In fact, TfL says Londoners won't be enjoying any more buses like this, until a new long-term funding deal can be reached. Your move, Department for Transport.