Buses getting more Loop the Loopy?

 

A chara, – I agree with Hugh Linehan’s comments on the new livery now being imposed by Transport for Ireland on the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann fleets (“Our roads are about to get a lot more Loop the Loopy”, June 5th).

This is the second such attempt by the National Transport Authority since it was set up in 2009. It is surpassed in hideous mediocrity only by the awful brown colour used by CIÉ from 1974 to 1981, officially described as “desert sand”.

One could argue that a passenger waiting on a city street or at a country crossroads cares little about the colour of the bus as long as it arrives on time. However, because their vehicles and infrastructure tend to dominate the landscape in town and country, public transport providers have a particular responsibility to set and to maintain high standards of design.

Nowhere is this more evident than in London. For over a century London buses have been painted red, while the iconic “bar and circle” logo evolved by the Underground railways in the 1920s has survived many changes in control and ownership of London’s transport system. Universally recognised as a symbol of London, it has inspired the design of transport logos worldwide. In the US, the famous Greyhound symbol and livery similarly respect tradition and provide a sense of continuity.

In 1941, Percy Reynolds of the Dublin United Transport Company commissioned Frank Brandt, a freelance graphic designer who had already done work for the Electricity Supply Board, to design a symbol to accompany the olive green bus livery then being introduced. The result was the “winged wheel” which was adopted nationally when CIÉ was formed in 1945. It served as a unique identifier of the national transport organisation until it was cast aside in 1963, replaced by what was variously nicknamed as a “broken wheel” or “string of sausages”.

Transport for Ireland could learn a little from history; knowing where you are coming from can help to show where you are going. – Is mise,

CYRIL McINTYRE,

Celbridge,

Co Kildare.