10 December, 2007
Nevertheless, the Routemaster is a symbol, a touristic icon of London, and I have no problems with it being retained as an attraction in tourist areas. Indeed, I frequently use the No 15 myself, as I did yesterday. Only to find that a flat screen TV display had been installed on the bulkhead behind the driver's cabin. Thankfully it was not yet operational, but no doubt it will be used to display advertisements for London's numerous touristic attractions.
Someone is losing the plot here. If the Routemaster is being preserved as a nostalgic exhibit of London past, then there is no place for this sort of thing. If they are going to put adverts in these vehicles, which might be a good idea for without them they do look rather stark, then why not replicas of old ads from the buses' heyday. Remember the tall thin advert for the British School of Motoring, always placed on the bulkhead I refer to, comprising the island of Great Britain driving a car, with the Isle of Man as its steering wheel?
If you're going to do touristic nostalgia guys, at least try to be authentic. Think of it this way: if you try to milk it for every last penny, it just puts the punters off and then everybody loses.