Dubbed SRM, the new bus body retains the look of the New Routemaster – more than 720 of which are currently in service around London – but has an overall length of 10.6m – 0.7m shorter – and has two doors and a single staircase, rather than three doors and twin staircases.
Ian Downie, managing director, sales and custom care at Wrightbus, explains that the vehicle is the result of TfL’s (Transport For London) requirements.
“TfL presented us with a challenge to develop the iconic look of the Routemaster with a shorter overall length, single staircase and twin doors, which could be built on an alternative driveline combination,” states Downie.
“The look of the side structure, roof and floor are the same as the original New Routemaster, along with a number of other important design features – to preserve the style of its iconic predecessor,” he continues.
“From a body perspective, we also sought to achieve a high level of commonality of spare parts, so that the aftermarket support can be optimised.”
Downie says that, aside from the chassis, the main difference between the Routemaster and the SRM is the moulded fibreglass dome.
“This is an additional structure to the rest of the vehicle, whereas on the New Routemaster it is part of the structural integrity of the bodywork,” he explains.
“We are happy that our partnership continues to be developed in this way,” states Phil Owen, commercial sales director for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland.
“This new Volvo Bus/Wrightbus combination gives operators a wider choice of body options from Wrightbus with the class leading B5LH Euro 6 Hybrid chassis.”
Meanwhile, Downie says that Wrightbus has completed three vehicles to date.
“We are delighted and honoured that RATP Dev London have placed the order for the first vehicle.”
“The continued partnership between Wrightbus and Volvo Bus has delivered yet another great product and Wrightbus has worked hard to deliver against the challenges laid out to them by TfL,” confirms Richard Hall, managing director for RATP Dev London.
“This latest addition to the Wrightbus/Volvo Bus partnership will form an important part of our drive to provide the best in passenger transport around our city,” adds Leon Daniels, managing director for surface transport for TfL.
“Wrightbus has certainly risen to the challenge we set them, which has resulted in the state-of-the-art bus we have here today.”
The first order for RATP Dev London is for 56 double deck buses, with six being the new SRM and the remaining 50 with the Gemini 3 body style.