Aside from being an iconic symbol of London, double-decker red buses move a ton of people around the British capital. One designer thinks they can also move freight, killing two birds with one stylish stone.
Hugh Frost’s Freight*BUS aims to be used for both civilian busing duties as well as freight transport during off hours. The concept is actually pretty brilliant, create a large bus with foldaway seats on the main deck and a loading system that can accept standard European pallets so heavy delivery truck traffic can be reduced. The buses themselves would be powered by fuel cells or batteries running in-wheel electric motors which would allow all-wheel steering to increase maneuverability while simultaneously reducing direct air and city noise pollution.
The design was submitted to London Mayor Boris Johnson's "A New Bus For London" competition where it has apparently not been chosen, though the winners haven't been announced. Still, Frost is looking for commercial partners to develop the concept and perhaps introduce it publicly.
Those who've been to London will tell you that central London, especially anywhere near Oxford Street, is traffic hell on Earth. It's crammed with pedestrians, bicyclists, cars, heavy trucks, taxis and buses and it's practically faster to walk than take anything with wheels. We're pretty sure Londoners and tourists alike would welcome anything that works to reduce traffic with open arms (as long as it isn't another blasted tax). [OnRouteBus via Yahoo.uk]