London Bus Route 15.
This route and route 9 (Heritage) were announced initially as 'A' and 'B' as short workings on existing routes to avoid any potential complications in the future: from 2017 all services have to be operated by Disability Discrimination Act compliant vehicles or an alternative must exist to make the same journey by exactly the same means. The Mayor of London and Transport for London decided to have a deadline of 2006 for their own services with a few exceptions.
One of the two routes, awarded to Stagecoach London, was for services between Trafalgar Square and Tower Hill, covering the most touristy section of route 15 taking in the Tower of London, Monument, St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. An extension to the Oxford Street area was excluded due to severe congestion there. The number of the parallel route 15 was adopted for the Routemasters, despite potential for confusion with the main 15.
Ten buses were allocated to the operator; 5 for the daily turnout, 3 operational spares and 2 as a "strategic reserve". Despite having only a couple of weeks to prepare the vehicles after they left normal service, Stagecoach turned out 5 immaculately presented RMs for the first day launch, 14 November 2005. The first journey was driven by Peter Hendy, managing director of TfL surface transport.
In April 2008, one of the buses was painted in a special Indian Red and Silver livery, to promote Bow Garage's Centenary. It was first revealed at the LBPT's Cobham bus rally, and soon after entered regular service.