Eight new jump-on, jump-off red double-decker buses will start service in London at the end of February 2012. The new models will run on route 38 from Victoria to Hackney.

Inspired by the old Routemaster, and made to a design by children in Kew Riverside Primary School, the new buses have the same platform at the back. In addition there are two other doors, with one in the middle for easy-access for the disabled and for parents with child-buggies. There are also two staircases instead of one.

Unlike the old buses where the back entrance was always open it can be closed in the new models, so that just a driver can operate the vehicle, without the need for a conductor to ensure safety.

The new buses are made of lightweight material and are 40 per cent more fuel-efficient than the old ones. They have space for 87 passengers, with 22 seats downstairs and 40 on the upper deck.

The previous mayor of London Ken Livingstone withdrew the old Routemaster from circulation in 2005. The buses then became part of the electoral campaign of the present mayor Boris Johnson who promised to bring them back into service. Each bus, made in Northern Ireland, has cost