Sunday 20 October 2013

One country, two systems

In a short week the Mayor Boris Johnson has led a posse of business leaders through China and to Hong Kong drumming up investment for London and championing our capital as THE place to be for business, culture, education and growth.

Surrounded by a mass of eager press, Boris spoke at countless lunches and dinners, ran daily back-to-back meetings as well as obliging the media with quotes and photo opportunities making front page headlines in both the UK and China.

As you might expect, the planning included a New Bus for London and a couple of Barclays Cycle Hire bikes. The bikes were shipped and presented to key business leaders in China whilst LT3 became the third New Bus for London to leave our shores and travel the world.

Since leaving the UK last May, LT1 has journeyed from New York through Colombia and is now in South Korea. LT2 has visited numerous European countries and most recently was in Austria. With their time fully committed to the GREAT Britain campaign run by UKTI, a third bus had to be shipped to Hong Kong.

When the bus arrived in Hong Kong, it was looked after by Kowloon Motor Bus and supported by Wrightbus. Thanks to our good relations with the Hong Kong Transport Department, the bus was licensed to move around and was in the capable hands of an outstanding KMB driver. On Thursday, Mark Nodder (CEO Wrightbus) and I carried out a dry run of activities for Friday when the Mayor was due to arrive.

And so he did - we collected him in Wanchai and took him to the Star Ferry whereupon he took a return trip across to Kowloon. We were ceremoniously greeted by the Star Ferry crew in full dress uniform, even though we travelled in steerage - downstairs. The Mayor posed for the press and continued to answer a barrage of questions.

After a series of meetings, LT3 took him to the Shangri-La hotel for a business lunch attended by hundreds and he took the opportunity to express his wish that Hong Kong might soon also choose NBfL as its next generation double-decker. The city has the same air quality issues as London and the amazing fuel economy and 'best in world' emissions delivery make a fully air-conditioned NBfL a real prospect.

Boris later announced - in his classic humorous style - that he was giving five New Bus for London vehicles to KMB as a gift from TfL!

The Chief Officers of KMB graciously accepted their Corgi models, much to my relief.

More photocalls, more interviews before a final reception at the residence of the Consul General. The Mayor departed for London and we cleared up our loose ends before preparing to leave town.

Many readers will know I spent a lot of time in this part of the world in the 1990s. In those days, Hong Kong used to buy old British buses. For some 30 years now they've been buying huge numbers of new buses from UK manufacturers. I wonder when we might see the iconic New Bus here soon....?

KMB Chief Officers, The Mayor, me, Mark Nodder and Charles Goodier
from Wrightbus and Thomas Heatherwick


  1. does this mean that the Enviro 500 or some other buses will be in London in the future

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  3. About 5 buses going to KMB, are these existing LT1-3, 7 and 8 or will these be brand new? Great quality as usual, Leon!

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  8. Well, Leon all i can say is well done for allowing 3 NBFL's to go on a World tour. :)

    With 5 NBFL's for Hong Kong, I might as well call it New Bus for Hong Kong. :D Will the 5 NBFL's come from the existing fleet which TFL ordered 600 for the 20 routes? Or is it going to be brand new LT's being built for Hong Kong?

    I am not sure if Hong Kong regulations allow open platform to be enabled on the NBFL beside all the buses in Hong Kong are OPO. I personally would like to see NBFL's in Singapore and Japan as well as there are British ex-pats living in Australia and New Zealand. :)

    Beside all that, what is the latest on the BYD electric buses in London, I know its been a long while since we haven't heard any news about it?

    1. No, it was 5 Corgi models - not 5 real buses!

    2. Thanks, because i misread the article.
      But Corgi models of NBFL are good souvenirs for them. :)

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    1. No offence, why is my comment removed? I know i am entitled to my own opinion, Because I was talking about the link i found from the KMB site, 3 door system and tri-axles in London. but I am certainly sure that I am not entitled to my own facts. Apologies if i caused any offense.

      With the technical side to the comments, instead of seeing a wall of "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator." and I seen a couple of spam posts like this >
      and loads under that post...

      I think its best idea to set the comments to approval only because it keeps the comments section more clean and you can decide which one should be published below your article.

    2. Apologies if i forgot to add this on my comment.

      I respect that your a very busy man working as a Surfacing Managing director of TFL and I certainly respect how you run your blog. I am proud your in that position and I am certainly not causing you any problems. Realistically, I respect where you come from.

      I rest my case. :-)

  10. <<<well appears we have to wait from Dec 7th for the 390 all the way up to feb 15th feb for next route? Very fast rollout I must say!!!!

  11. one day before route 9 gets somewhere near the quality it once was via these you tube london transport films

  12. <<<When the 9 last gave value for money on a proper length route from Mortlake to Liverpool Street until some destructive person shortened the route

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  14. <<Thank god this bus is no more,poor people in suburbs has it now though on a route..We need more of these nb4l despite dodgy drivers having smashed 3 already

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  17. 12th nov and not a full lt service..dear oh dear

    St and Fulham Broadway
    Towards - Liverpool St
    Fleet Reg Destination Due Stop Id Stop Name
    WVL13 LG02KHL Liverpool St 23:45 54289 Trafalgar Square/Charing Cross Stn
    LT41 LTZ1041 Liverpool St 23:43 56735 Ludgate Hill/Old Bailey
    LT50 LTZ1050 Liverpool St 23:45 52167 Fulham Town Hall
    LT52 LTZ1052 Liverpool St 23:55 52167 Fulham Town Hall
    LT54 LTZ1054 Liverpool St 23:45 51766 Chelsea Bridge Road
    LT56 LTZ1056 Liverpool St 23:16 54289 Trafalgar Square/Charing Cross Stn
    LT61 LTZ1061 Liverpool St 23:45 51766 Chelsea Bridge Road
    Towards - Fulham Broadway
    Fleet Reg Destination Due Stop Id Stop Name
    E130 SN60BZB Fulham Broadway 23:45 47982 Great Smith Street/Westminster Abbey
    LT42 LTZ1042 Fulham Broadway 23:43 55013 Sloane Square Station
    LT48 LTZ1048 Fulham Broadway 23:45 72432 Bank Station/Queen Victoria Street
    LT51 LTZ1051 Fulham Broadway 23:44 52128 Savoy Street
    LT57 LTZ1057 Fulham Broadway 23:55 72810 Liverpool Street Station
    LT67 LTZ1067 Fulham Broadway 23:43 54955 Rumbold Road
    Vehicles that have also been on the route during the day :-
    Fleet Reg Line Used From Used Until
    LT43 LTZ1043 00:00 20:00

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