26 October 2010
Amphibious tourist buses ancient and modern
Brian Micklethwait

It’s good to be back.  I don’t really want to be muggins for Transport Blog, the one who is still posting when every one else is taking a holiday, but now that others are back posting, I am delighted to join in.  This first posting, i.e. this time around, is really just me checking that I still know how to do it.

And checking out also that I can still stick up pictures.  So, let’s see about that:


That’s one of my favourite items of London Transport, namely one of the fleet of yellow amphibious buses, for taking tourists both along streets and along the river.  They are named, as you can see, after Shakespearian heroines.

While googling for further info about these yellow ladies, I came across this blog posting, which reveals that a brand new design for a yellow amphibious bus has now been contrived:


This I did not know, until now.  Blog and learn.  This started out as a posting called nothing more than: “Good to be back”.  But it has turned into a real blog posting and now has a real title, about something.

I find myself pondering the economics of tourist vehicles, as opposed to regular A-to-B transport type vehicles.  I can’t believe that it would ever make sense to put commuters in a thing like this.  Commuters resent paying an extra few pence per journey, because, day after day after working day, that still adds up to a fortune, and because any fun would soon fade.  But tourists are happy to pay an extra few quid for the fun of travelling in a bus that can swim.  Just the once.

Which, come to think of it, makes tourism a massively important thing, transport-wise.  Tourists will pay for vehicles to take their first rather faltering and expensive steps, vehicles which may not have much of a present, as serious contributions to transport, but which may just have one hell of a future.

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