MODEL Routemaster (Lengthened)
YEAR 1966
BODY Park Royal
OWNER Andrew Ponsford of Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
HISTORY The London Routemaster is the iconic London double decker bus.  The prototype was built in 1954, and full production began in 1958, continuing until 1968.  It was designed to replace the previous RT series buses, and the London trollybuses.  The chassis and engine were by AEC for most Routemasters, but some were manufactured by Leyland.  The Leyland versions however, had no visible external differences from the AECs.  The Routemaster was the last bus designed by London Transport.  When Routemaster replacements were introduced in the 1970s, standard production models were purchased from various manufacturers.

The Routemaster, with half cab and rear platform entrance, was designed for two-person operation, and was under threat from the 1970s when front-entranced, one-man-operation  buses were introduced to central London.  Nevertheless, Routemasters saw continuous service in London until 2005, and they remain on two heritage routes (9 and 15) in central London.  It is estimated that there are some 1,000 Routemasters of the 2,876 built still in existence.

RML 2372 was one of 524 Routemasters that were 30 feet long (the basic RM is 27' 6" long).  The extra length is evident from the additional square window in the middle of both decks, accommodating 4 extra double seats.  The vehicle entered service at West Ham garage in 1966, transferring to the nearby Upton Park garage for 1971-2. After overhaul, she went to Putney in late 1972.  In 1990 she was fitted with a new Cummins engine, and in 1994 went to Tottenham for the privatised Leyside Buses, later becoming Arriva. She was sold in 2005 to Ensign Bus, and then purchased the same year by Andrew Ponsford of Tunbridge Wells, Kent.



Above photo taken at: Cobham London Bus Museum Spring Gathering at Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey.
Taken on: 10th April 2011


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Photographs Mike Smith 2011
None to be reproduced elsewhere without permission