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Last Years of the London Routemaster (Hardback)

Military > Modelling P&S History > British History Photographic Books Transport > Buses Transport > London Transport World History > UK & Ireland > England > London

By Matthew Wharmby
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 128
Illustrations: 332 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399061940
Published: 2nd February 2023



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The last decade of Routemaster bus operation in London saw over seven hundred surviving RMs and RMLs divided between several new companies following the privatisation of London Buses Ltd’s subsidiaries in 1994. Now operating their existing twenty routes under contract to LRT (renamed TfL in 2000), Centrewest, Metroline, MTL London Northern, Leaside Buses, Stagecoach East London, South London, London Central, London General and London United all adopted their own predominantly red liveries, but by the turn of the century these firms had clustered in pairs and generally sold out to the emerging big corporate groups. Two independents, BTS and Kentish Bus, had also won a Routemaster route each and were similarly brought under the control of larger parents.

In this photographic archive, each company’s last Routemaster-operating decade is outlined in detail up to when each route was converted to OPO one by one between 29 August 2003 and 9 December 2005. The two heritage routes are then explored all the way up to their own end in 2019.

As featured by

The Broad Gauge Society

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

A great collection of photographs showing the last years of this iconic bus. Highly recommended. 5stars

James Simmonds

About Matthew Wharmby

MATTHEW WHARMBY is an author, photographer and editor who specialises in London bus history. His published books include Routemaster Requiem and Routemaster Retrospective (with Geoff Rixon), London Transport 1970-1984 (with R.C. Riley), The London Titan and The London Metrobus. He has also written many articles for Buses, Bus & Coach Preservation, Classic Bus and London Bus Magazine. This is his twelfth book for Pen and Sword; the others are London Transport’s Last Buses: Leyland Olympians L 1-263, The London Bendy Bus, The London Enviro400, The London DMS, The London LS, Last Years of the London Titan, Last Years of the London Metrobus, The London Volvo B9TL and B5LH, The London Dennis Trident, The London Volvo B7TL and (with John Laker), London Buses 1970-80.

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