It’s official - the London Bus is the second most iconic British design

Design expert Professor McDermott led a panel of judges to decide the Top 25 Greatest British Designs of all time, as part of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Great British Design Study. The list also featured the Red Phone Box, the Tube Map and the Mini Cooper. 

To celebrate the Routemaster Double Decker Bus making it to the number two spot, beating the likes of the Union Jack and the London Taxi, we wanted to take a look at some of the weirdest facts about the London buses:

Back in the 1920s, after WW1 when there was a shortage of buses, there was such a thing as a “Pirate Bus.” An enterprising man by the name of A.G. Partridge realised he could profit from operating an independent service on some of the more popular routes. These buses lived by their own rules and didn’t stick to routes, often skipping the traffic and taking shortcuts.

The first ever bus journey, from Paddington to Bank, would set you back a whole one shilling and sixpence for a halfway journey (This is equivalent to 5p and 2.5p - bargain!)

Believe in ghosts? How about a phantom double decker? Last spotted in 1990, the phantom number seven bus appears in Cambridge Gardens at 1:15am and reportedly drives towards people in the middle of the road, with no lights and no one at the wheel!

Although the iconic Routemaster was withdrawn from service in 2005, two of them are still in use. If ever you’re wanting to hop on one, check out Route 9 from Kensington High Street to Aldwych or Route 15 from Trafalgar Square to Tower Hill.

Did you know that it takes around 55 hours of practical training for a bus driver to pass and achieve their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence? Within the 55 hours, trainees must complete a theory and hazard perception test, a case study and demonstration, and a practical driving test.

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