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London new routemaster, Boris Bus
Photograph: Ron Ellis / Shutterstock.com

London’s ‘Boris Buses’ are being taken off the streets after just 12 years

Sadiq Khan is getting rid of them to clean up the capital’s air

India Lawrence
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India Lawrence
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‘Boris Buses’ may have only hit London’s roads 12 years ago, but newly re-elected Mayor Sadiq Khan has already ordered for them to be taken off the streets. 

Introduced when Boris Johnson was the London Mayor, the New Bus For London (NB4L), AKA the ‘Boris Bus’ was launched as a new version of the iconic Routemaster in 2012, costing the city £350 million. 

But Sadiq wants to get the gas guzzlers off the roads, hoping to have to have all of London’s 8,600 buses powered by batteries or hydrogen by 2030. 

‘By 2030, all the buses in London will be zero emission,’ Sadiq Khan said. ‘Some may need to be retro-fitted but I think all will be new buses by 2030. It means any bus that is not zero emission will be off our streets by 2030.’

When the first NB4L arrived, Johnson called it ‘the cleanest, greenest bus on the streets of London by miles’. The fleet was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, who was also the designer behind the London 2012 Olympic cauldron. But the buses soon faced criticism after passengers complained of unbearable heat onboard during the summer. Boris Buses then had to be retrofitted with opening windows.

Let’s hope Sadiq’s hydrogen-powered double deckers have working air con. 

More travel news on Time Out 

Don’t forget that the Blackwall Tunnel is closing in May and June. And did you see that you can now hire out disused tube stations for parties and private events? Plus, here’s everything you need to know about the train strikes.

ICYMI: London could be getting 600 new skyscrapers.

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