The oldest vehicle in the Hong Kong bus operator Citybus’ fleet has been saved from being scrapped after it was sold to a foreign buyer.

The company had originally planned to decommission the 1964 Associated Equipment Company (AEC) Routemaster, known as “Citybus No. 1,” back in September.

The A.E.C. Routemaster bus produced in 1964. Photo: Dennis Law

In September, Citybus invited bids from vehicle scrapping companies to help it apply for the Environmental Protection Department’s Ex-gratia Payment Scheme. The scheme phases 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.

The A.E.C. Routemaster bus produced in 1964. Photo: Facebook/hoikonghk.

In a set of photos posted on Facebook by a towing company on Monday, it appeared the bus was being readied for a move.

“We don’t know the details, only that it was bought by a foreigner,” the company wrote on their page, adding, “if fate allows us, we will meet again.”

An email campaign was previously launched to save the bus by transport commentator Jacky Lim. He criticised the plan to scrap the bus as it was an example of “destroying heritage with public funds using the excuse of environmental protection.”

In 2013, Citybus scrapped another AEC Routemaster produced in 1962.

The classic bus was designed in London in 1954 by the AEC, and produced from 1958 to 1968.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.