June 20, 2016

2630 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - The red double decker buses of London

London's bus network is one of the largest in the world, running 24 hours a day, with about 8,500 buses, more than 700 bus routes and around 19,500 bus stops. In 2013, the network had more than 2 billion commuter trips per annum, more than the Underground. The distinctive red double-decker buses have become a national symbol of England and United Kingdom, and are an internationally recognised trademark of London transport along with black cabs and the Tube.

A particularly iconic example was the Routemaster bus, which had been a staple of the public transport network in London for nearly half a century following its introduction in 1956. Because of the difficulties accommodating disabled passengers, the last Routemasters were retired in 2005. However, these vintage buses were keep in operation on heritage route 15H, there was formerly a second heritage route (9H) but this ceased operation in 2014.

The AEC Routemaster was designed by London Transport and built by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) and Park Royal Vehicles. The first prototype was completed in September 1954 and the last one was delivered in 1968. The layout of the vehicle was traditional for the time, with a half-cab, front-mounted engine and open rear platform, although the coach version was fitted with rear platform doors. A total of 2,876 Routemasters were built, of which 1,280 are still in existence. Despite the retirement of the original version, the Routemaster has retained iconic status, and is considered a British cultural icon.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Europe gives green light, I wrote here.

Buses and trams / London - Wikipedia
Routermaster - Wikipedia

Sender: Ingrid (postcrossing) NL-148464
Sent from Delft (South Holland / Netherlands), on 15.10.2012

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