TfL states 600 New Routemaster buses now refurbished

Transport for London are now more than half way through a program to refurbish their fleet of almost one thousands New Routemaster buses.

According to a report last week, they state: “We have now completed over 600 New Routemaster mid-life refurbishments among the fleet of 998.

“We will have refurbished 650 by the end of the 2023/24 financial year.”

Work includes a deep clean and clearer marking for mobility impaired people. Retrims and resprays are part of the plan.

Top deck

Unlike many buses which are purchased by bus companies running services contracted under TfL, New Routemasters were bought outright by TfL.

The first entered service more than 12 years ago and refurbishment could give another decade in service.


With electric buses announced as bus route tenders awarded, some New Routemasters have cascaded to routes outside their former stomping ground.

One such example is Superloop route SL3 between Bromley and Thamesmead. Though they’re set to have a very short life with new electric buses arriving next year after a new contract awarded earlier this year.

New Routemaster in central London beside restored Findlater’s

The buses have seen their fair share of criticism over the years including the label “Roastmasters” due to a lack of opening windows as well as faulty hybrid motors.

Some nice touches though have found themselves on subsequent bus models including glazed areas beside middle stairs.

New Routemaster

The rear doors are no longer for entering and a conductor is long gone.

The inclusion of two staircases also limit capacity.

Rear staircase

Still, this refurbishment program ensures they’ll be around for the long term.

The question is whether all 998 will see refurbishment. Questions marks remain about that – as do queries on where they’ll live out another ten years.


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    10 thoughts on “TfL states 600 New Routemaster buses now refurbished

    • I thought Ssdiq Khan announced he wanted to take them out of service. If TFL own them and they are being refurbished by TFL. Makes senses to keep the new bus for london (New Routemasters) in service for another ten years or so rather than wasting public money getting rid of them all for the sake of it

    • It’s still programme, not program.

    • They are Poorly made …lack of Air in the bus …The seats are placed horrible ..cramped up ..don’t people look forward any more ..who wants to face someone eating or sneezing on a Bus ???..old bus were better.
      Boris Bus is crap.

    • I’m not a huge fan of the “Boris” bus, but I can think of a couple of routes local to me where these would be an improvement on the current tired and tatty buses.

    • @Graham: I think there has been a misreading on both our part. The refurbishment is of the buses still in operation. The phase out of the ‘new’ routemaster began with the move to low and eventually zero emission buses. In addition, some of the companies that used to run the ‘Boris’ bus, have switched to the Enviro-400H city model.

    • Agreed there’s further use for the LT class in the outer zones
      Perhaps RATP group could move them to the 258 and other D/Dl routesl later on at Park Royal to replace the 12 year old Diesel Enviro 400″s currently in use there.

    • @Anonymous 201486. Thank you. Yes I agree a misreading on both our parts. You are right the 88 and 91 bus routes have stopped using the Boris Buses being replaced with new electric double deckers with the SL3 converting to new electric buses next year.
      I have also noticed some Outer London bus routes are using some of the Boris Buses displaced from Central London. Replacing older vehicles including the 215 in the Walthamstow area and the 313 in the Potters Bar area.

    • They’re lemons that we’re the vanity project of a lemon!

    • What a waste tfl buses dont have air con and some areas dont even have a bus stop and some areas dont have night buses shame on tfl


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