Episode 2 Night Bus


The Route Masters: Running London’s Roads narrated by Julian Barrattshows how Transport for London keeps London’s traffic moving. With access to 20,000 transport workers, bus drivers, cabbies, road menders and special police units, this series shows how London really works and introduces viewers to those whose job it is to keep the city moving. Go from the all seeing eye of the control room to the seemingly incompatible transport subcultures, from cabbies who resent the ever increasing number of cyclists, to hard working surface repair teams who face nightly abuse from drivers stuck in rush hour gridlock. Seeing the city through the eyes of those responsible for vital maintenance and traffic regulation is a revelation. That this overcrowded city’s roads work as well as they do is more than impressive, it’s an everyday miracle! Nominated for British Academy Television Award for Best Factual Series.
Episode 1 Gridlock – Reveals a city constantly on the verge of gridlock, and it falls to Transport for London staff to try to keep the system working. Tow truck driver Sean has to deal with a pregnant motorist who can’t face driving through the Blackwall tunnel, while central control room operator Chris needs to cope with multiple accidents blocking the roads on a Friday night. TFL staff deal with road accidents and a helicopter crash.
Episode 2 Night Bus – The number of passengers travelling around London in the small hours has tripled since 2000 and the night bus service has expanded to cope with the demand, but its drivers face an unpredictable crowd. Tommy McKerr faces trouble on the long N25 route to Essex when a gang of young men piles onto the bus without paying, while a homeless man shows how he has perfected the art of riding London’s longest route to keep warm.
Episode 3 On the Buses – More people now travel by bus in London each day than in the rest of the UK combined. In this episode, drivers talk about the pressures they are under and how the behaviour of passengers has changed over the years. Plus, there is an insight into the work of the controllers who must hit strict targets to ensure services stay on track, and the impact of a new vehicle inspired by the classic Routemaster is assessed as it hits the streets.
Episode 4 Gateway to London – Victoria Coach Station has been transformed as cheap fares and an influx of migrants from Eastern Europe have resulted in a 25 per cent increase in passengers in the last five years alone. Cameras follow Transport for London staff as they cope with the demand, while Sergeant Shaun Doyle deals with everything from a missing teenager to illegal immigrants and stowaway.
Episode 5 The Future – A look at initiatives to ease congestion on the city’s roads by getting people to ditch their cars and use bikes or buses, including a police task force that been set up to encourage cycling. CCTV operative Graham watches out for vehicles sitting in yellow box junctions for too long, while Chas from the Roads Policing Unit stakes out a traffic blackspot that motorists are trying to escape from by taking short cuts across a grass verge.
Episode 6 Fighting Crime – A look at efforts to cut crime across the network, including the work of 1,800 officers in the Safer Transport Command unit of the Metropolitan Police, which is funded by Transport for London. Detective Tony Barun investigates a case in which a young man appears to have been kicked through the top window of a moving double-decker, while Sgt Darin Birmingham mounts a crackdown on drug-related crime at Vauxhall bus station.