Of course for decades the famous London Transport fleetname adorned our red (and green) buses and in turn it gave way to the roundel which symbolised the organisation. It disappeared as privatisation progressed and by an accident of history has been missing from this hugely important mode whilst being increasingly used for Streets management, taxis, cycles and new territory such as London Overground.
So surely it must be right to bring it back for use on buses and we are doing so now on all new vehicles, joining its slightly quiet introduction on hybrids and other special products. It is only on new (and refurbished) vehicles so there is no new cost.
I was rather surprised at the reaction to this reappearance. Some operators and enthusiasts were not at all supportive. It seems only a short time ago people were bemoaning its disappearance. Hmm – was that really over 25 years ago?
Well, we couldn’t have London’s most famous icon, the red bus, the ONLY transport mode in the Capital without a proper roundel now could we? So it is back. We should be proud it is now once again on London’s buses and it does symbolise the great tradition and achievements of Transport for London, London Transport and its predecessors.
As my old conductor, the long-departed Harry Cook, veteran Croydon Corporation tram driver, bus driver, inaugural P4 minibus driver, and route 100’s ST922 conductor would say as he pointed to the enamel London Transport insignia on his peaked cap (which he always wore, even on his days off) – “this symbol, my boy, is a passport to international recognition, friendship.......... and free travel”