Transport Enthusiasts are shocked and dismayed that TfL bosses and the London Mayor are secretly preparing to scrap the heritage routes on the route 15. It seems that the historic 60-year-old Routemaster buses are approaching the end of their usage after “secret” plans emerged to withdraw the last vehicles from daily service.
Currently, the “London icon” run between Trafalgar Square and Tower Gateway but under the new plans by TfL, the buses would appear only at weekends during the summer and on bank holidays.
TfL recently spent £200,000 refurbishing four of the buses. Last year the Mayor said: “They promote London as a key tourist destination.” Two heritage routes, shortened versions of routes 9 and 15, were launched in 2005 when Routemasters were phased out by Ken Livingstone after 50 years of service.
The 9 heritage route was axed in 2014. TfL says the proposal to cut the 15 heritage service comes alongside the Mayor’s proposed cuts to 33 bus routes in central London, and will save £800,000 a year.
TfL said: “The heritage buses provide an attraction for tourists that celebrates London’s transport heritage, but use of the service is low.” A spokesman said restricting the service to times of peak demand would “improve emissions while helping to reduce congestion”.