Croydon Year of the Bus Sculpture Trail unveiled
- Croydon trail is the fourth to be unveiled in the capital, with 58 sculptures now on display across London until the New Year
- The sculptures will be auctioned early next year with the proceeds shared between Kids Company, Transaid and London Transport Museum
Seventeen New Routemaster bus sculptures, painted and adorned by well known and aspiring artists, were this morning unveiled around Croydon - with six of the sculptures designed by artists living or working in the Croydon area.
The sculptures form a collection of 58 bus sculptures, commissioned by Transport for London (TfL), which have been placed across London on four walking trails as part of the Year of the Bus. The first three trails were installed for the public to enjoy in October with the fourth and final trail in Croydon now completing the set.
The four walking trails - which are "Around Westminster", "Around the River", "Around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park" and "Around Croydon" - are being delivered with creative events company Wild in Art.
They are part of TfL's celebrations to mark the Year of the Bus and aim to promote walking, to highlight the vital role the bus plays in the capital and to raise money for charity.
The sculptures, which are 2.5m long, 1m high and 0.5m wide, have been sponsored by various organisations and will remain on public display until early January. They will then be brought together in a final display at the end of the project at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 24 and 25 January before being auctioned to raise invaluable funds for three charities: Kids Company, Transaid and London Transport Museum.
Leon Daniels, TfL's Managing Director for Surface Transport, said:
'These bus sculptures will provide a stunning addition to the Croydon area in the run up to Christmas and beyond, adding an extra sparkle to the experience of those visiting the town. The best way to see them is on foot and we have arranged them in an accessible trail that everyone can enjoy. What is fantastic is that these sculptures also allow us to promote British artists, the bus industry, encourage walking and raise money for three admirable charities all at the same time.'
Charlie Langhorne, Director of Wild in Art, said:
'Our events are designed to bring the enjoyment of public art to thousands of people while offering new ways to explore the city. The buses are a fantastic spectacle and showcase a wonderful wealth of artistic talent. We hope everyone will enjoy exploring the trails'.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Croydon Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: "From music venues to markets, Croydon already has lots to shout about and we're ambitious about making our cultural scene bigger and better, and I hope these locally-inspired sculptures prove an exciting extra draw for the borough's residents.'
Events and activities have been held throughout 2014 to celebrate TfL's Year of the Bus, in partnership with London Transport Museum and the capital's bus operators - specifically the role that London buses, bus drivers and the staff who support them play in keeping the capital moving. The Year of the Bus also marks a number of important anniversaries including 60 years since the creation of the original and iconic Routemaster, 75 years since the launch of its predecessor the RT-type bus, and 100 years since hundreds of London buses were sent to the Western Front to play a crucial role during the First World War.
During the Year of the Bus TfL has worked on a number of high profile collaborations including with the world-famous Fender guitar manufacturer whose Stratocaster guitar celebrated its 60th anniversary this year; with LEGO to install an operational bus stop and shelter on Regent Street made entirely out of LEGO and a special Routemaster Google Doodle on the Google.co.uk homepage. The Year of the Bus has also seen the first ever series of live music performances on board a New Routemaster bus as part of Oxjam, and 'bus stop top' exhibitions along the Strand from renowned photographers Juergen Teller and David LaChapelle.
The Year of the Bus is supported by and delivered in partnership with Exterion Media, Abellio, Arriva London, Clear Channel UK, Go-Ahead London, Metroline, RATP Dev UK, Stagecoach, Wrightbus, Optare and Telent Technology Services. Cubic Transportation System Ltd have sponsored 10 of the sculptures.
Notes to Editors:
- Photos of the New Routemaster Bus Sculpture Trail in Croydon, and the three other trails in London, are available from TfL's press office on 0845 604 4141.
- London buses carry 6.5m passengers a day and, alongside the Tube - which carries around 4m each day - provide the backbone of London's transport network. It's one of the largest bus networks anywhere in the world, with a 8,600-strong bus fleet, operating across around 700 routes serving 19,500 bus stops. Despite its size, the bus network remains flexible and able to adapt to the challenges of operating in a constantly changing streetscape.
- Wild in Art is one of the leading creative producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events which engage residents and tourists alike, through the creation of citywide trails of uniquely painted sculptures. From Gromit sculptures in Bristol to crashes of rhinos in São Paulo and parades of elephants in Melbourne, Wild in Art events have animated cities and enthralled people the world over, raising over £5m for charity partners along the way. Wild in Art also provide unique art education resources which engage and inspire young people and enhance learning across the curriculum. Wild in Art 2014 events include: Wild Dolphins in Aberdeen; Ready Steady Gallop in Hamilton (South Lanarkshire); Books about Town in London and Christchurch Stands Tall in Christchurch (New Zealand). For more information visit www.wildinart.co.uk
- Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996. They provide practical, emotional and educational support to inner-city children, young people and vulnerable families. Their services reach 36,000 young people across London and Bristol, including the most deprived and at risk whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges.
- Transaid is an international development charity. They identify, champion, implement and share local transport solutions to improve access to basic services and economic opportunity for people in Africa and in developing countries. Transaid was founded by Save the Children and The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and their Patron is HRH The Princess Royal.
- London Transport Museum in Covent Garden highlights the vital role transport has played in the life of the capital. They also work with more than 150,000 children each year delivering essential travel safety education to keep our children safe, and they run programmes to help young people into employment.
- For more information about the Year of the Bus, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/yearofthebus