Complaints regarding heat on New Routemaster buses

MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Given the heatwave we have recently experienced, with temperatures up to 38C, please provide an update on the issues raised in Question 2014/3082.


Answer for Complaints regarding heat on New Routemaster buses

Answer for Complaints regarding heat on New Routemaster buses

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am aware of passengers' concerns. I have agreed with TfL that it will fit temperature sensors to buses as part of a trial that could see much wider roll out to the fleet to provide greater visibility of general comfort. This is a form of remote monitoring that relies on downloads of recorded data.

This is in addition to other steps TfL has already agreed. The cooling systems on New Routemasters have been reconfigured to force cooled air into the upper deck at a lower thermostat level of 21C to help prevent heat build-up and increase blown ventilation.

TfL appreciates more steps need to be taken to make all types of bus more comfortable, particularly when London basks in exceptionally high summer temperatures like those experienced in the capital on July 1.

For this reason it is currently trialling solar film on windows that can reduce the build-up of heat by as much as five Celsius.

Further summer assurance checks have been conducted on different double-deck vehicles to confirm systems are working as designed. These indicate that New Routemasters are as cool or cooler upstairs than their standard counterparts on similar corridors.

Solutions to sudden rises in temperatures for short periods need to be considered within the wider context of emissions reduction in London. Buses in the fleet are fitted with air cooling systems, not full air conditioning, as these strike a balance between providing acceptable levels of comfort for passengers in normal summer conditions and minimising exhaust emissions from the fleet. Full air conditioning can have negative impact on London's air quality.