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Monday, 31 January 2011

Knightsbridge Bus Fun


Mind your step as you cross the road in Virtual Knightsbridge, the big red London buses are back! I loved to see the buses again, they had been a feature in London when I first joined this blog, nearly three years ago, and in those days you would see the opened topped buses trundling around the capital with people usually choosing to sit on the top deck and having such a laugh. There was also a Chelsea sim then, and the buses used to leave the ground and fly up around the face of Big Ben, before landing back safely on the ground.
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Of course buses are one of the symbols of today’s real London, maybe the most famous being the Routemaster, now only used on two routes, but like the red pillar boxes (post boxes) and red phone boxes, the Routemaster is a bit of a London icon. The double decker Routemaster proved to be a favourite with commuters because of its open back and boarding platform, you could jump on or off between bus stops to get to your destination. London being such a congested city, it was easy to hop on the buses whilst they were held up in traffic jams. We’ve had London buses since 1829, but then they were horse drawn omnibuses provided by George Shillibeer and they ran from Paddington to the City of London. Later in 1850 Thomas Tilling also started a horse drawn bus service. By 1855 the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) was formed to regulate the horse drawn services around the capital. The first motorised omnibuses were on the roads by 1902 and along with trolley buses and trams kept London commuting with a network of routes. The trolley buses and trams were phased out, although trams had been returned to the Croydon area few years ago. Quite a few buses have been introduced to the London streets over the years, including the strange looking ‘bendy bus’ a cumbersome single decker vehicle, which is twice as long as its counterparts. It must be quite an art to manoeuvre the bendy buses around the sometimes narrow London roads.
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You don’t have to wait at some cold bus stop though, you can have fun driving the virtual buses around Knightsbridge, it’s good to see them again.

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Janey Bracken

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