What Everybody Ought to Know About the Red London Double Decker Bus


Recognised all around the world as one of London's principal icons, the red double decker bus is a well known symbol of the British capital and provides a fast, inexpensive and convenient way to get around the city. London buses carry 6.5 million people around the (almost) one thousand bus routes of the city each day. In fact, travelling by bus around London is a great way to do a spot of sightseeing.

Used for transit throughout the United Kingdom, buses are likened to the pulsing arteries moving large numbers of people through Britain's main city centres and extremities.

The history behind London's Buses

The first ever London city omnibus service took place on Saturday 4th July 1829. George Shillibeer got the idea from Paris, France where bus services where already being used. The bus was pulled by three horses and could take up to twenty-two people, for four return journeys per day.

Seeing Red

Before 1907, London buses used to be different colours to indicate their routes. To stand out  from the competition, The London General Omnibus Company painted its fleet of buses red and eventually became the largest bus operator in the city. Then the use of numbers was introduced for the indication of the different bus routes.

The Year of the Bus

The iconic Routemaster bus has been around for the last sixty years and the RT-Type double decker bus has celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, in the Year of the Bus. It also marks one hundred years since London buses were used during the First World War, when nine hundred B-Type Battle Buses transported soldiers to the frontline of one of the worst conflicts in world history. Some of these buses were converted to house carrier pigeons.

The Withdrawal of the Bendy Buses

Articulated buses, more popularly referred to as bendy buses, came into use in London in October 2001. However their role in the city was short-lived when Boris Johnson pledged to withdraw the buses from the streets of London during his Mayoral campaign in 2008. Deemed unsuitable for London, the last of the bendy buses were withdrawn in December 2011 to make way for the newer, more suitable design of the modern day Routemaster. The articulated buses that were one used in the British capital have now made their way in other parts of the UK and some have been exported to Malta.

The New Bus for London

The New Routemaster bus, which entered service on 27th February 2012, was designed to replace the much loved AEC Routemaster. With an attractive design inspired by its predecessor, the new London Routemaster bus still features a hop on, hop off open platform at the rear. while meeting the accessibility requirements of modern day buses and uses the latest green diesel-electric hybrid technology.

London Bus Fares & Accessibility

Oyster cards, travel card and contactless payment cards can be used to pay for bus fares in London however you can no longer pay by cash. It is free to travel by bus for wheelchair users and low-floor buses allow easy access for all people travelling with wheelchairs, prams, strollers, assistance dogs and mobility issues. In fact, all of London's 8500 buses have a retractable ramp which has to be fully working at all times.

The Phantom Double Decker Bus of London

Up until May 1990, there had been reports of a ghostly number seven bus in Cambridge Gardens in Notting Hill Gate, W10. Without lights on, nor anyone at the wheel, the bus apparition was spotted on a number of occasions around 1:15am during May time. It would cause drivers to swerve to avoid a collision and then the bus would suddenly disappear without a trace. Fatal accidents have taken place due to this, such as a motorist who was killed in 1934 on the exact spot where the bus is said to appear.

If ghost stories are your thing, The London Ghost Bus Tour is a theatrical sightseeing tour which provides  a piece of comedy horror theatre onboard a classic 1960s Routemaster bus. From the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey over to St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London,  you can see the city's darker side and learn about the ghosts of London and the grisly skeletons it's cupboards.

Other London Sight Seeing Bus Tours

Undoubtedly, viewing the sights of London from the top deck of an open top sightseeing bus would always be memorable part of a visit to England's capital. You can sit back, relax and take in the sights of this wonderful, bustling city in a comfortable and secure environment. There are plenty of London bus tour operators to choose from and many allow for you to hop on and hop off so you don't miss out on attractions, shopping and other places you wish to see.

Make a London Bus out of paper.

London Bus Souvenirs

A die cast metal red London double decker bus model is one of the most classic toys that comes to mind and a perfect idea for a gift from the city or a memento of one's travels. But it doesn't stop there, there is a whole bunch of red bus memorabilia to choose from, including stoneware mugs, teapots,  fridge magnets, keyrings, stationery, jewellery, T shirts, clocks, snow globes, moneyboxes and much more!

Pullback Die Cast Metal Red Double Decker Bus Model
Pullback Die Cast Metal Red Double Decker Bus ModelHigh quality die cast metal red double decker bus model Doors open pull back and go action wheelsDimensions 4 12 x 2 12
Pullback Diecast Metal Sight Seeing Bus Model
Pullback Diecast Metal Sight Seeing Bus ModelHigh quality die cast metal red double decker open top sight seeing bus model Doors open pull back and go action ...
Miniature Bus Metal Model
Miniature Bus Metal ModelThese souvenir mini Double decker bus models are downright adorable and an absolute must for your diecast model collection
Diecast Metal Red Double Decker Bus Model
Diecast Metal Red Double Decker Bus ModelA die cast metal red double decker bus toy model With moving wheel action making this an excellent toy or collectors ...
Large Double Decker Bus Model
Large Double Decker Bus ModelA large die cast metal red double decker bus toy model with moving wheel action A superb collectors and souvenir from London
Deluxe Red Bus Model Souvenir
Deluxe Red Bus Model SouvenirHigh quality die cast metal red double decker bus model with moving wheel action Dimensions 4 12 x 2 12
Gold Brass Double Decker Bus Clock
Gold Brass Double Decker Bus ClockThis Golden brassy metal Double Decker Bus clock is conveniently packed in a presentation box making these ideal souvenirs
Red Double Decker Bus Clock
Red Double Decker Bus ClockA stunning red metal bus model with a real clock Packed in a presentation box making these Ideal novelties
Best of British Red Double Decker Bus Magnet
Best of British Red Double Decker Bus MagnetPolyresin England Red Double Decker London Bus fridge magnets make great presents Shop for our complete selection of high ...
Large Red Double Decker Bus Magnet
Large Red Double Decker Bus MagnetThis polyresin red Double Decker bus magnet is an interesting collectable idea from England We have several stunning ...
Metal Red Double Decker Bus Magnet
Metal Red Double Decker Bus MagnetA metal souvenir magnet featuring the famous London Routemaster Bus a classic icon of the British capital
New Routemaster Bus Metal Magnet
New Routemaster Bus Metal MagnetA metal fridge magnet featuring the new style of Double Decker bus that now can be seen on the streets of England
Red London Bus Magnet
Red London Bus MagnetThis polyresin magnet featuring a red Double Decker bus is one of the many souvenirs you can buy to remember your trip to ...
Die Cast Metal Union Jack Bus Keyring
Die Cast Metal Union Jack Bus KeyringThe Spice Girls tour bus will most definitely spring to mind when you see this British Union Jack Bus Keyring made from ...
Plastic Bus Keyring
Plastic Bus KeyringThis acrylic bus keyring is a practical idea as it is good for keeping your keys safe and serves as the perfect reminder ...
Red Bus Purse
Red Bus PurseVintage inspired handcrafted bus purse in red and blue with polka dots Beautiful details such as a stiched on steering ...
Red Double Decker Bus Keyring Keychain
Red Double Decker Bus Keyring KeychainA red Double Decker Bus keyring the perfect souvenir from the capital This classic keychain is made of Die Cast Metal and ...
Bus Tea Towel
Bus Tea TowelThis large colourful tea towel featuring a vivid design of a red Double Decker bus which really catches the eye
Red Double Decker Bus School Kit
Red Double Decker Bus School KitThis school kit comprises of a pencil case in the design of a red Double Decker bus along with a pencil ruler rubber ...
Double Decker Bus Pencil Case
Double Decker Bus Pencil CaseWhen back in school after the holidays what better way to remember your trip to the city than this fab red Double Decker ...
London Bus Ballpoint Pen
London Bus Ballpoint PenAdd a touch of class to your workspace with this stylish ball point pen featuring the Great British Bus with a comfy grip ...
Acrylic London Bus Magnet
Acrylic London Bus MagnetLarge Acrylic fridge Magnet with a colourful image of a red double decker bus Makes great souvenirs
Rubylite Heart Necklace With Bus & Union Jack
Rubylite Heart Necklace With Bus & Union JackHandmade Bus charm necklace with Union Jack Rubylite amp sapphire Swarovski crystal and silver plated findings Comes with ...
Silver Plated Red Enamel Bus Charm
Silver Plated Red Enamel Bus CharmEnamelled Metal Red London Bus memento Charm ideal for adding a bit of charm to bags clothing jewellery and moreMaterial ...
Silver Metal Double Decker Bus Keyring
Silver Metal Double Decker Bus KeyringThis stunning quality silver diecast metal souvenir Double Decker Bus Keyring has realistic movable wheels
Red Enamel Bus Earrings
Red Enamel Bus EarringsRed Enamel bus silver plated earrings These earrings make remarkably good Union Jack gift ideas Novelty earrings make ...
Pink Bus Phone Charm
Pink Bus Phone CharmThis phone charm featuring a silver plated Double Decker bus with pink enamel makes a novel idea idea and will look great ...
Souvenir Metal Bus Keyring
Souvenir Metal Bus KeyringGold Metal keyring featuring an enamelled design of a red London Double Decker bus We have a colourful range of shaped ...
Double Decker Bus Lapel Pin Badge
Double Decker Bus Lapel Pin BadgeThis lapel pin badge is shaped as the red Double Decker Bus an absolute musthave for fans of this famous mode of London ...
Die Cast Metal Pink Double Becker Bus Keyring
Die Cast Metal Pink Double Becker Bus KeyringThis excellent quality pink die cast metal London Double Decker Bus keyring with movable wheels is the perfect souvenir ...
Double Decker Bus Mug
Double Decker Bus MugCeramic Mug featuring the Union Jack Flag the name of the capital and eighteen traditional red buses with Union Jack ...
Bus Bead for Charm Bracelet
Bus Bead for Charm Braceletbus Bead for Charm Bracelet fits European charm bracelets such as Pandora braceletsBracelet not includedMaterial Zinc ...
Red Bus Money Box Tin with 14 English Breakfast Teabags
Red Bus Money Box Tin with 14 English Breakfast Teabagsred Bus Money Box Caddy with 14 Tagged English Breakfast Teabags England is famous all over the world for its red buses ...
Bus Tin Caddy with 25 English Afternoon Teabags
Bus Tin Caddy with 25 English Afternoon Teabagsred Bus Money Box Caddy with 25 Tagged English Afternoon Teabags England is famous all over the world for its red buses ...
Large Diecast Metal Red Bus Money Box
Large Diecast Metal Red Bus Money BoxThis beautiful red diecast metal Double decker bus money box is an absolutely classic musthave collectors item and ...
Diecast Metal Red Double Decker Bus Money Box
Diecast Metal Red Double Decker Bus Money BoxThis London souvenir is made of high quality die cast metal These Best of British Bus Money Boxes make fantastic presents ...
Bus Button Badge
Bus Button BadgeThese button badges featuring a red Double Decker bus are ideal for adding to party bags and make great treats for children
Bus Metal Lapel Pin Badge
Bus Metal Lapel Pin BadgeThis metal Double Decker Bus Pin Badge is a tremendously good souvenir for tourists and London fans alike

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