Andrew Mudie pictured with the 1965 Routemaster bus which once carried passengers around London and will now ferry tourists and locals around the Byron area .
Andrew Mudie pictured with the 1965 Routemaster bus which once carried passengers around London and will now ferry tourists and locals around the Byron area . Jacklyn Wagner

London bus gets new life in Byron

YOU can still smell the London smog and  the remnants of pommy body odour rising off the stained and faded seats of the 1965 Routemaster bus which once carried millions of passengers around the English capital.

Before boarding the red double-decker icon you can’t help but glance at the London destination board.
But when your stop finally arrives you step off not outside the ritzy store front of Harrods, but overlooking the blue waves of Byron Bay.

By some stroke of good fortune this 43-year-old bus, now in retirement from London Transport, has ended up with a better gig – driving tourists and locals around Byron Bay and its environs. .

Enterprising resident and British expat Andrew Mudie said his London-based son decided his family needed to own a London bus.

The buses are as ‘scarce as hens teeth’, and the family quickly snapped it up for $100,000. Mr Mudie, a former civil engineer responsible for works in far flung places like Mozambique, is now a published author of historical fiction .

But why Byron ?

“Byron has the hippy happy thing and the bus is a 1965 model, so it will work in with that,” he said.
“I will have music from the 60s playing inside, yes, even The Beatles.”

 The bus will run between Suffolk Park, Byron Bay, the Industrial Estate and Ewingsdale – all for $2 a trip.

 “I will even still take British pound coins off any British backpackers,” he joked.


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