The largest known convey of London’s iconic Routemaster buses assembled at ExCeL London last week in readiness for WorldSkills London 2011 (October 5-8).
The collection of approximately 50 buses appeared in front of hundreds of international delegates, who boarded 27 buses to take a tour of London’s famous sites, such as the London Eye, St Paul’s, Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park.
The one-off convoy also marked the 50th anniversary of the production of the RML Routemaster, the high capacity version designed for the major central London routes.
“The Routemaster is a true icon of London,” London mayor Boris Johnson said. “They are recognised all over the world and it is fantastic to see them celebrated on their 50th birthday; but also a reminder that it’s time for London to move into the future. That’s why I am looking to preserve their wonderful hop on and hop off heritage by creating a new bus for London that will be just as iconic, but also cleaner, greener and fit for the 21st century and beyond.”
Travel Places and London Heritage Travel sourced Routemasters from operators which included Ensign Bus, Routemaster for Hire, ThisBus.com, RedRoute Buses, Gwyn’s Big Red Bus, Go Coach Hire, CMB Vehicle Services, and tour guides from Blue Badge Tour Guides.
Almost a thousand competitors from over 50 countries/regions competed to excel over 46 skills sectors including landscape gardening, mobile robotics, floristry, fashion technology, web design, cooking and car painting.