New London hybrid double decker bus – Click above for high-res image gallery

For the past half century, the red double-decker Routemaster bus has been a London icon, but the time has long since come to replace the old machines. With that in mind, the city government has been working with designers to craft a new bus that improves on functionality, fuel consumption and emissions while still retaining the recognizable style.

Mayor Boris Johnson has now approved the new bus design produced by Wrightbus, and it includes a hybrid powertrain. The new bus is expected to be 15 percent more efficient than current hybrid buses and 40 percent better than older diesel double-deckers. The new buses have three doors and two staircases for easier movement of passengers. The first prototypes should be ready in 2011 with the buses entering service in 2012. Check out the video preview after the jump.

[Source: City of London]

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