Year of the Bus sculptures raise £100,000 for charity

25 March 2015

More than 50 Year of the Bus sculptures were auctioned last night (Tuesday 24 March) by Transport for London (TfL), raising £100,000 for three charities: Kids Company, Transaid and London Transport Museum. The New Routemaster sculptures proved as popular with bidders, both online and in the live auction, as they did with Londoners and visitors to the city when they were displayed on the streets last year.

Painted and adorned by well-known and aspiring artists, the sculptures first went on display in October 2014 on four walking trails across the Capital. All 60 were then brought together at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London for a final show before the search for their new owners began.

The bus sculptures were auctioned by international auctioneer Tom Best who has travelled extensively for charity auctions across the globe and has so far helped raise over £3.5 million for selected charities.

The New Routemaster sculptures, which are 2.5m long, 1m high and 0.5m wide, feature a wide variety of designs including ones based around iconic London landmarks such as Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace, artwork featuring the designs of Cath Kidston and Orla Kiely, and even one of the Queen's Guard complete with faux bearskin hat.

The most popular buses during the auction, each raising £3,500, were a design entitled Spectrum by Venezuelan artist Kristel Pillkahn and Tunnel Vision, a homage by designers One Red Shoe to Harry Beck's Tube map. Also popular were Punk'ed by artist Valerie Osment and the London Telephone Bus by Thomas Dowdeswell, which were each sold for £3,200.

Leon Daniels, TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: `The Year of the Bus sculptures captured people's imaginations and promoted the great work that London buses, bus drivers and the staff who support them do in keeping London moving. The auction was a great success too, giving people the opportunity to own a unique version of one of London's most recognisable icons and raising an excellent total for three worthwhile charities.

The live auction concluded TfL's celebrations to mark 2014's Year of the Bus, in partnership with London Transport Museum and the Capital's bus operators.'

The Year of the Bus was 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. The Year of the Bus sculptures were also supported by other sponsors, most notably Cubic Transportation System Ltd, who sponsored 10.

Notes to Editors

  • Events and activities were 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 marked 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 worked on a number of high profile collaborations including with the world-famous Fender guitar manufacturer whose Stratocaster guitar celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2014; with LEGO to install an operational bus stop and shelter on Regent Street made entirely out of LEGO bricks; and a special Routemaster Google Doodle on the homepage. The Year of the Bus also saw 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.
  • 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 run programmes to help young people into employment.