Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Transport of Delight: Brighton and Hove’s new seafront Routemaster service

Hats off to Brighton and Hove Buses for introducing the new seafront bus route, No.10, between Brighton Station and Hove, which started service this week. Here’s hoping that if this heritage bus is a success then it will become a permanent seafront route. Running this summer, the bus used is a 1965 Routemaster named Colin Curtis, a Brighton resident who played a key role in the design of the classic Routemaster, according to Brighton Buswatch. All normal tickets can be used on the bus.

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This is the first regular bus service along the seafront for some years. Buses leave Brighton station hourly at ten minutes past each hour and return from Hove’s King Alfred at 31 past the hour. The Routemaster is 60 years old this year – and although it was never a Brighton regular, over 2,700 of these buses were built for London Transport between 1954 & 1968. Routemasters finished service in London in 2005, and there are now around a dozen or so on routes 9 and 15.

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As well as providing additional travel options in Brighton and Hove, the No 10 Routemaster offers a journey into nostalgia for those who recall these buses as an essential part of the capital’s public transport. Not only does the no 10 come with the chance to buy a ticket from a conductor, the Routemaster offers that most illicit of pleasures - the ability to enter and exit by the rear platform without the encumbrance of doors. Never mind Proust and his madeleine, for those of us who grew up with Routemasters, Brighton’s No. 10 bus is a remembrance of things past. Ding, ding! Hold on tight. More information, timetable etc here.

Pictures: Routemaster at the Old Steine; conductor Alec

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