Monday, 13 October 2008

How goes the Sketch-a-Routemaster competition?

Dave Hill reports that the latest trailed entry to Boris's sketch-a-bus competition is liable to topple over on sharp corners.

With that in mind another entrant to the competition has been offered up to us. Here it is:
Well what's to say about it? It certainly looks a lot like a Routemaster, albeit one with a Bob the Builder type flavour. But what's it like inside? Let's take a look:

Hmm. Is it just me or does this look disproportionately long? And what is that bar-booth seating all about? I'm not sure I'd want to be the lucky pensioner stuck in the middle of one of those. 

Still it could be a lot worse I guess and it is certainly the best looking entrant so far.

Meanwhile, with the competition closed, unofficial entrants are still coming in to the Troll. This entrant by Ewan is my current favourite:

Can you do any better? Feel free to drop me your own efforts and I will add them to the pile.


Tom said...

It's the same story as the Autocar RMXL job - putting a door that far forward down the left hand side pushes the front axle right up to the front corner of the bus, seriously affecting handling. The driver *has* to be in the middle because of the wheelarches, but where the hell is the engine? Batteries?

Disregarding the silly U-shaped seating arrangements (where do your feet go? How slow will disembarking be if the person at the end of the U upstairs needs to get off?) we have 43 seats upstairs and possibly 30 downstairs, which is about the same as a standard double decker, in fact slightly less (45/30 is a common combination).

Goes on the reject pile for me. Let's see what the pros have to offer.

The Big Smoke said...

We came up with these at Time Out a while ago (click on image)

The Troll said...

Thanks for dropping by Big Smoke. I have been meaning to add you to the Blogroll.

These are brilliant. my vote goes with the crime-fighting Routemaster.

Chris said...

"we have 43 seats upstairs and possibly 30 downstairs, which is about the same as a standard double decker, in fact slightly less (45/30 is a common combination)."

So can somebody remind me what the point of doing this is? According to the BBC Boris's 50,000 affordable homes target is going to be kicked into the gutter now because of the ongoing credit crunch, so why not do the same with this? Travelwatch say it's going to be more expensive and take up more available road space to carry the same amount of people while slowing everyone else down at the same time. What is the point? Does anyone really care about doing this any more apart from Andrew Gilligan and Policy Exchange? Even Andrew Gilligan has stopped talking about it. I have no love for bendies (or for any other form of public transport come to that - they're just a means to an end) but there's no point in getting rid of them just to end up with a worse solution to a problem that doesn't even appear to be much of a problem in the first place.

Tom said...

The bendy issue is more pressing, because it would hit the TfL budget next year (i.e. £12m would be spent on the extra cost of non-bendies that could be spent elsewhere).

The RM is a boondoggle, but a relatively harmless one - the harm is in distracting people from the real task of getting a sensible hybrid design on the roads in 2012. Dave Hill reports Peter Hendy as visiting Wright Bus in Northern Ireland recently, who are leading the way on this with basically a standard double decker with added hybridness. That's what they should be concentrating on.

Is Gilligan really toning it down on bendies? Must go and wind him up.

prj45 said...

Seriously that H4 thing is never going to get round corners, what were they thinking?

Anonymous said...

No sign of Oyster card swipe machines shown in this video, rear layout ground floor seems to vary as it swivels around. Can passengers travel on the rear platform and not pay? Open rear the popular element but would it be legal in a brand new design? A bit like the right not to wear a seat belt in really old cars.

stuart graham said...

perhaps I shouldn't take this Boris plan seriously as it's him pretending to be interested in improving transport until he's got an excuse not to (would do, but no money from Gordon is his perfect excuse)
However, how serious is it if you look at the design (which in fairness is not yet decided). Why do bus users have to have draughts in winter? No one else does?
Look at the fuss made about disabled access; look at the design; now, tell me: where does the wheelchair go when the user is on the bus? In the middle of the u-shape, perhaps thus preventing other users sitting don in their allocated seats?
Maybe we'll have a bus designed by bus users? Maybe Boris will fly?

Tom said...

"where does the wheelchair go "

The same place it does on the Capoco design - behind the driver, in front of the first set of downstairs passenger seats. The consequent extended length plus the requirement for a side door seems to be what lengthens all disabled-friendly neo-RM concepts beyond what looks sensible.

I'm not sure of the reason for this beyond the obvious conclusion that combining wheelchair loading with the flow of people up and down the stairs is probably not sensible.

angelneptunestar said...

Tom you sound really knowledgeable, did you want to be a bus driver when you were little?

Tom said...

No, an engineer. It's what my degree's in and it's pretty much the best discipline for learning how to tell BS from reality.

angelneptunestar said...

You do sound like you know what you are talking about.