The old Routemaster buses are definitely a design icon of London transport. They are the double-decker buses with an open platform at the back that allow passengers to jump on and off. The buses used to operate with a conductor on board who would sell tickets (from a machine they had hung round their neck), while the driver was tucked away in a small compartment at the front.
The buses went out of general service at the end of 2005 as they were not accessible to all passengers. The new buses have lower floors and wider doors to make it easier for people in wheelchairs and those with baby strollers to get on and off.
Don't despair though! You can still experience life onboard a classic Routemaster by boarding the number 15 bus. This is a heritage route between Tower Hill and Trafalgar Square that has been preserved by Transport for London.
There are 10 Routemasters in service and they have all been used on these routes to date from 1960-1964, although they have been refurbished with engines that meet Euro II emissions standards, and have been repainted in 1960s London bus style.
The heritage Routemaster buses run every 15 minutes, seven days a week, between around 9.30am and 6.30pm.
Standard bus fares apply so you don't need to pay any more to enjoy this service.
The heritage number 15 service is a fantastic route for tourists as it passes by some of London's most iconic sites including St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London. It's a much cheaper alternative to some of the London bus tour companies. For the best views, grab a seat at the front upstairs.
Here's the full list of stops on this route:
- Trafalgar Square
- Charing Cross
- Fleet Street
- St Paul's Cathedral
- Tower Hill