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The delivery of 600 new buses for London’s streets has been approved by the board of TfL.

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The hop-on hop-off-style vehicles will be built in Northern Ireland and represent the biggest fleet of its kind in Europe.

The first batch, of about 30 buses, will convert a whole central bus route by April next year, with delivery of all vehicles expected by 2016.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said the “magnificent” vehicles “ooze London style”.

He added: “Not only do they deliver significant environmental benefits, they also reinstate the traditional hop-on, hop-off rear platform and passengers love them.

“By ordering large numbers of these fantastic machines we are also creating UK jobs. I promised an expansion of the existing fleet and I am confident they will be as iconic in London as phone boxes, Big Ben and Beefeaters.”

It is anticipated that the first central London bus route, requiring approximately 30 vehicles, will be converted by the end of April next year. Another route could be converted by next August. In total, around 93 new buses will be delivered to TfL in 2013. Approximately 200 vehicles will be delivered in 2014, 250 in 2015 with the remainder in 2016.

No decision has yet been made on which routes will be converted, however the new buses will be deployed on busy central London routes where their unique characteristics, such as the open rear platform, can deliver the maximum benefits.

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