Hundreds of Routemaster buses are being recalled after the Department for Transport (DfT) identified a fault with the rear doors. 

The DfT found that it is possible for the doors to open without warning while the bus is moving, causing the bus to come to a sudden stop. Over 400 vehicles are affected and it is expected that Transport for London will pay for the upgrades.

It comes as the latest in a long line of faults with the ‘Boris buses’. Labour’s London Assembly Transport spokeswoman Florence Eshalomi said the situation was “beyond farcical”.

The warning from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has led to the recall of 423 buses, which will now require software updates.

It was originally intended that the rear door would remain open between stations so passengers could hop on and off, but this was stopped after conductor numbers fell under the previous mayor.

The Routemasters have faced a litany of problems since they were first introduced by former Mayor Boris Johnson in 2012, says a Labour party statement.

The vehicles were described by Mr Johnson as ‘the most environmentally friendly public transport vehicle on London’s roads’, but it was later revealed problems with the batteries meant the hybrid buses were mainly running on diesel.

The costs of the buses themselves have also been criticised. At £350,000 per vehicle, they were significantly more expensive than other hybrid buses available at the time.

In December the current Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that no more Routemasters would be purchased.

Florence Eshalomi said: “Just when you think it can’t get any worse for the Routemasters here we have yet another example of the previous Mayor’s vanity project costing Londoners dear.

“An ‘eco-friendly’ bus that ended up running on diesel, and a ‘hop on hop off’ service that was too expensive to manage.

“Sauna like conditions in the summer that led to windows being replaced, and now rear doors that can open without warning when the bus is moving. “This really is beyond farcical. (Source: GLA Labour party press release)

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