• Bus Driving Experience
• Experiences include one to one personal tuition
• Start with a short briefing covering safety and driving techniques
• Your drive will include a variety of driving scenarios including; negotiating junctions and corners, stopping at a bus stop and a slalom section
• Personalised driving certificate
• Drive an iconic Routemaster Bus
• Allow up to 1 hour on site
Old vs New Bus Driving Package 1
• 10 minutes driving an 18m long articulated Bendy Bus
• 20 minutes driving the Routemaster
• Allow around 1.5 hour on site
Old vs New Bus Driving Package 2
• 10 minutes driving the Bendy Bus
• 30 minutes driving the iconic Routemaster bus
• Allow around 2 hours on site
What Can I Expect
Show them who's boss of the bus-lane on this fabulous bus driving experience! No need for your Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence here, as you will be driving a bus (or two!) around the specially coned out area at North Weald Airfield circuit in Essex. Ding, ding, all aboard!
We have a duo of big and beautiful vehicles ready for you to drive, namely the classic Routemaster and a proper bendy bus - and of course, both of them are red. You can go for the classic Routemaster Experience or you can drive both on the ‘Old vs New’ bus driving experience.
The Routemaster is a long serving legend of London. These iconic double decker buses first tooted their way onto the streets in 1958 and ran until 2005. The new generation Routemasters you see today are fine, but nothing compares to an original, which is exactly what you'll be driving.
Unique in that the engine is up front, the driver is perched high up in a little half-cab, whilst the conductor is near that open rear platform that made it so easy for us all to hop on and hop off, with little regard for actual bus stops or road safety, but it was fun. The 73 route these buses were most famous for took fare paying passengers right through all the most celebrated streets of Westminster and each ride was like a tourist tour.
Riding on a Routemaster, however, is very different to driving one. For a start you actually have to climb up into your wee cab. Then you'll see that, unlike a normal car, the steering wheel is gigantic and very flat. To get full-lock on in a hurry you'll have to have to put some elbow grease into it, that's for sure.
Then for those on the ‘Old vs New’ session there’s the bendy one. These 18 metre-long articulated monsters had a short-lived career on London's streets, having lasted just seven years on 12 routes in the capital before Mayor Boris Johnson branded them 'writhing whales of the roads' and somewhat unceremoniously decommissioned them all and sold most of them to Malta. Like you do.
Luckily for you, at least one has remained in the UK and it’s here in Essex. Still resplendent in its proper Transport for London pillar box red and still adorned with those stickers politely asking us to 'Buy your ticket before boarding', it’s as authentic as you can get. These behemoths of the city streets are still really common on the continent, but now long gone and forgotten in this country, it's really rather cool to be able to have a go at driving one. And whilst you are in the hot seat on your bus driving experience, take a look in the rear view mirror and imagine 120 commuters' faces looking at you…that's a lot of passengers.
Current scheduled 2019 dates
• Sunday 15th September - Routemaster only
• Sunday 20th October
• Dates are subject to availability and spaces are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment
• Minimum age 17
• Drivers must hold and produce a current UK or European driving licence
• Height restrictions: minimum 5ft 1 ins, maximum 6ft 5ins
• Maximum weight 18 stone
• Participants should have a good general level of fitness
• The Routemaster design requires the driver to be able to climb up into the drivers cab
• Spectators are welcome
• Please note spectators are not permitted to ride as passengers in the vehicles
Anything Else I Need To Know?
Optional in cab DVDs are available to purchase on the day
• The buses have automatic transmission
• Toilets and refreshments are available onsite
• Participants should wear suitable footwear for driving
• Don't forget your camera!
• North Weald Airfield, Essex just outside of London on the M11