Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Red Alert as Boris Takes to Wheel of New Routemaster

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Red Alert as Boris Takes to Wheel of New Routemaster

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak

BORIS JOHNSON unveiled his new bus for London today -- and demanded the right to drive it through the city.

The Mayor said "Christmas has arrived" as he insisted on getting behind the wheel of the Routemaster.

Then, to his aides' astonishment, he drove the bus past City Hall before it was moved to Trafalgar Square.

Mr Johnson shouted joyously as he drove: "It's fantastic -- so manoeuvrable."

An aide asked him to stop before getting to a main road but he replied: "Why can't I drive on the road? I'm the Mayor. I've got a universal licence."

He added: "This shows that Britain still makes beautiful things." But critics today branded the bus Mr Johnson's "shiny vanity project".

The Mayor revealed that the first bus will enter service on February 20 and will operate on one of the capital's busiest bus routes -- the 38, which runs from Victoria station to Hackney.

He said: "Christmas has arrived early in the form of this revolutionary new bus whose gleaming coat of red paint and sinuous curves will brighten the day of all who see it humming along our great city's streets. It is the latest, greatest masterpiece of British engineering and design, and I am certain it will become a much loved and iconic vehicle akin to the legendary Routemaster from which it draws so much inspiration. …

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