Mayor: London's open-backed buses to return

LONDON (AP) -- London's mayor says he is making good on his promise to return London's iconic open-backed Routemaster bus to the British capital.

The traditional Routemaster had an open platform at the back, enabling passengers to get on and off quickly. It was phased out three years ago in favor of boxy-looking double-deckers deemed safer and more accessible.

But the Routemaster was widely loved and Mayor Boris Johnson said Friday that winning open-backed designs for its successor have been chosen.

He says the new buses could be in service by 2011.

Johnson's opponents say there is no point in bringing back buses that were only recently withdrawn for being impractical.

"Nostalgia doesn't get people to work on time," London Assembly member Val Shawcross said.

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