Earlier today, a planned press launch for the Year of the Bus descended somewhat into farce as protesters tried to drown out the event.
What was planned was to show off a specially designed silver coloured New Bus for London/New Routemaster/Boris Bus/White Elephant (depending on preference).
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However, a group of protesters campaigning about something totally different took the opportunity to put a banner right in front of the bus. They were polite, a leaflet handed out, and all seemed generally good natured.
Mayor Boris turned up, had a chat with them, and started his thing about the Bus, and the Year of the Bus.
Then the whole thing got silly as more protestors pulled out horns and as Boris and TfL bosses tried to explain what was going on, the horns blared and drowned them out.
What had been a reasonably clever hijack of an unrelated event to promote a cause ended up being a deeply annoying thing that just antagonized people.
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The protest aside, what was being shown off was this new bus colour scheme. Fret not, for it is a one-off special bus. It will be in normal service though, so passengers on route 9 will occasionally see it, and it will then transfer to route 10 when that converts to New Routemaster buses in the spring.
In the anniversary year of the bus, this silver leviathan is itself harking back 50 years to a brief experiment in the 1960s with an unpainted Routemaster bus.
That silver-aluminum bus was nick-named the White Lady. What the silver Boris Bus will be called?
Elsewhere, a number of events are being planned with the first the week after next, as Leon Daniels, head of TfL surface transport talks about the London buses at the Transport Museum.
Other talks take place in April.
During the summer there will be a bus cavalcade event that will see historic vehicles from the last century back on the capital’s roads. Either the same event, or a separate one will be a huge parade of heritage buses in Finsbury Park in July.
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I just wish The Year of the Bus didn’t keep reminding me of Jimmy Savile with a now worryingly young child singing it’s the Age of the Train.
PS — the bus looks a lot better in real life than my photos indicate.