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Last Updated: Monday, 27 June, 2005, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Bids to keep Routemaster rolling
A Routemaster bus
The heritage routes will run seven days a week
The contract to run two heritage services on London's iconic Routemaster buses has gone out to tender.

The buses, which have been ferrying passengers around for 50 years, are being phased out on the main routes.

One route would go from Piccadilly Circus to Tower Hill and the other from the Royal Albert Hall to Aldwych.

It is expected that the buses will run every 15 minutes between 0930 BST and 1830 BST and passengers will be able to use travel cards or pay standard fares.

Transport for London (TfL) said Routemasters will be completely phased out by the end of the year, because they have no disabled access.

'A London icon'

London Buses' Mike Weston said: "Routemasters can't be part of an accessible network, but they have been a London icon for almost half a century, and the new heritage routes mean that there will still be an opportunity for Londoners and visitors to ride on a Routemaster."

The Routemasters that will be used on the routes date from 1959 to 1965, but have been completely refurbished.

More than 100 made their final journeys last September - now they serve just five routes.

The buses will stop running on routes 14 and 22 on 22 July and routes 13 and 38 in October.

Routemaster will no longer be use on the number 159 route from Marble Arch to Streatham in December.

Routemaster celebrates 50 years
24 Jul 04 |  London

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