One of London’s most famous icons is going into retirement.
The red, open-backed, double-decker Routemaster bus has gone out of service after half a century on the streets of the British capital. Winston Briscoe was the driver of the last journey – the 159 bus from Oxford Street to Brixton: “We live in a new generation, a new decade, everything is different nowadays,” he said. The old Routemasters, which started appearing after World War II, have been phased out because they are too costly to maintain and do not comply with regulations on safety and accessibility. London is replacing the Routemaster with a fleet of so-called “bendy buses”, which can carry up to 140 passengers. A new style of double decker is also being bought. While the Routemaster is out of service though, it is not totally off the road – they will still be used on two lines as sightseeing buses for tourists.