Hong Kong bus operator Citybus invited bids from vehicle scrapping companies on Friday to decommission its 1964 A.E.C. Routemaster known as ‘Citybus No. 1’—the oldest vehicle in the company’s fleet.
Interested firms are required to help Citybus apply for the Environmental Protection Department’s Ex-gratia Payment Scheme, which is aimed at phasing out pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles that have been in use in Hong Kong for more than 15 years.
Under the scheme, Citybus will receive HK$729,900 from the department in exchange for scrapping the antique bus.
Commentator Jacky Lim, who has launched an email campaign to save the bus, told HKFP that the EPD scheme is an example of “destroying heritage with public funds using the excuse of environmental protection” and that Citybus management “would do anything for money.”
“The bus is a valuable piece of Hong Kong’s transportation history,” Lim said, “There is an alternative scheme in place in the UK to save these buses by replacing the engines with newer, more environmental friendly ones.”
“However,” he added, “the assistant director of the EPD Mok Wai-chuen said in LegCo that there is no alternative but to scrap the old bus. It’s nonsense.”
In 2013, Citybus scrapped another A.E.C. Routemaster produced in 1962.
The A.E.C. Routemaster was designed in London in 1954 by the Associated Equipment Company, and produced from 1958 to 1968.