Borismaster takes shape at Wrightbus

Borismaster takes shape at Wrightbus Borismaster takes shape at Wrightbus
A mock-up of the new bus for London is taking shape at the Wrightbus factory. The full-size static Borismaster has been built as part of the process of refining the design and when completed will be shipped to London for examination by those with an interest in its operation. These include the capital’s bus operators, London TravelWatch and organisations such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, representing the needs of passengers with disabilities.

The vehicle taking shape looks true to the computer-generated images issued by Transport for London earlier this year with a distinctively rounded roof profile echoing bus designs of the 1950s and 1960s. It has, as planned, three doors and two staircases, and the driver is conventionally located, ahead of the front axle. Early Borismaster concepts envisaged a separate driver’s cab.

The swept-down front windscreen gives the driver a better view of the kerb, and picks up on a feature used briefly by MCW on its double-deckers in the late 1970s and 1980s. This is matched by a dramatic sweep of curved glass on the rear. The rear entrance is of a similar style to that on the original Routemaster which was the inspiration for the Borismaster project. However it has a two-piece door, needed so that the rear entrance can be closed when the vehicle is running without a conductor on board.

Mike Weston, operations director for London Buses, says: “I am delighted to see the progress of the mock-up of the new bus for London to date,  it really helps to bring the design to life and helps us to not only picture but get to walk around and experience what the final bus will be like.”

After receiving feedback on the mock-up work will start on building five prototypes, with the first due to enter service at the end of next year. The cost of designing and developing the Borismaster, and of building the five prototypes, is £7.8million. The buses will have hybrid drive systems.


Photo: TfL's Kulveer Ranger inspects the mock-up at Wrightbus' factory in  Ballymena.