London Mayor unveils new buses

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London's new buses have made their first public appearance as Mayor Boris Johnson showed off a life-size mock-up at the London Transport Museum's depot at Acton.

The model shows off the design that will be hitting the capital's streets from 2012, and is inspired by the old Routemasters with a hop-on hop-off facility at the back of the bus.

Mayor Johnson said: "Standing on the rear platform of this delectable bus brings back a sense of nostalgia but conversely also demonstrates the quintessence of the latest technology and design, making this bus fit for 21st century London.

"It is wonderful to see how those two-dimensional designs we unveiled in May have been forged into this amazing bus and I for one cannot wait to be launching the buses when they first enter passenger service in 2012."

The new bus will be much more advanced than the current versions on London's streets, with the double decker being powered by a range-extender hybrid engine. A large lithium-ion battery and a 4.5-litre diesel engine and generator powers an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, which should reduce both engine and noise pollution.

The project, dubbed 'New Bus 4 London', is also working on improving the passenger experience, with two staircases set to make getting on and off easier, and plans are afoot to get rid of the lurching move from a standstill.

Manufacturers Wrightbus and TfL hope to get the first example on the streets of London by the end of 2011, with another four arriving at the start of 2012.