LONDON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- London Mayor Boris Johnson displayed a full-size mockup of a new Routemaster bus, the red double-decker that ruled the city's streets for almost half a century.
Johnson said Thursday the new buses, to be manufactured by WrightBus, will have both a driver and a conductor as the old buses did, the BBC reported.
He displayed a mockup of the new bus at Acton Transport Depot.
"Standing on the rear platform of this delectable bus brings back a sense of nostalgia but conversely also demonstrates the quintessence of the latest technology and design, making this bus fit for the 21st Century," Johnson said.
The buses are expected to be in service by 2012.
Under former Mayor Ken Livingston, the Routemasters, which first hit the streets in 1958, were taken out of service in 2005. New buses were mostly single-deck with no conductor and included articulated vehicles, known locally as "bendy buses."
Jo deBank of TravelWatch questioned the safety of open rear platforms, a Routemaster feature to be brought back. She also suggested that with London Transport's financial problems bringing back bus conductors might mean cuts in service.