Below is the latest information from LOTS, (London Omnibus Traction Society) where they talk about the Newer, New Routemaster fleet having modifications to the rear door.
Now that their first 27 LTs (464-477, 488-500) are In service, Arriva’s third and last batch of 26 LTs (batch LT 517-542) for route 73 have commenced delivery. These are the first to arrive in London to have the modified rear door arrangement whereby the rear part is fixed glass and the forward part slides forward externally instead of folding inward. We would point out that the 31 buses in the batches LT 457-461, 478-487 and 501-516 remain outstanding at present and, of those, LT 511 was the ‘prototype’ for the rear door mods.
It is interesting to see how the New Routemaster is progressing since the prototype was built in 2011 and then entered service in 2012. On certain routes it is operated with a 2nd crew member for the rear platform usage, where passengers can jump on and off between stops safely. But all that is eradicated now due to the newer routes being 'one man operation' with the help of the rear door modification.
TfL’s estimated final cost for the New Routemaster project is £286 Million, and recently I was lucky enough to talk to the 2nd crew members on the New Routemaster about that figure and they did not know about it.
Currently, fourteen London Bus routes are served with New Routemasters and they are Routes 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 24, 38, 55, 73, 137, 148, 390 & 453.
The four routes that are due to have New Routemasters under new tender contracts are:
· Route 91 awarded to Metroline, start date to commence on 6th February 2016
· Route 149 awarded to Arriva, start date commence to on 17th October 2015
· Route 159 awarded to Abellio, start date commence to on 12th December 2015
· Route 168 awarded to Metroline, start date commence to 26th September 2015
So this will increase the number of routes to 'eighteen' by early 2016.
The advantage of having the rear door modification is that less people are likely to get hurt with the rear door folding inwards. Some of the fleets though have announcements before the door opens which say “stand clear of the opening doors.”
However, the new rear door layout negates the need for any such announcements as it opens outwards.
What I can say about the New Routemaster is that it’s a bus type with an extra door and staircase at the rear. I'm still awaiting to see if any other manufacturers have designed their own double decks with ‘NRM features’.
UPDATE (24th June 2015)Special thanks to Dave Hill of The Guardian and the user from HKiTalk (a message board from Hong Kong) for linking to my site. Any comments or queries please use the comments section below and I'll get back to you.
Please follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92
"Metroline bus LT25 (LTZ 1025), route 24, 23 June 2013" by R Sones. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Metroline_bus_LT25_(LTZ_1025),_route_24,_23_June_2013.jpg#/media/File:Metroline_bus_LT25_(LTZ_1025),_route_24,_23_June_2013.jpg