In January 2006 transplan UK was asked to provide cab-to-shore communications for a new Capital Radio project, the conversion of a London Transport Routemaster double-decker bus to a high-profile OB unit.
In the following April, because of difficulties with the company engaged to fit out the bus, we a were given the task of completing the full studio installation within the existing 9-week deadline. This involved working in close co-operation with the engineers and craftsmen at Southeast Coachworks at Faversham, where the 40-year-old London bus JJD 573D, fleet number 2573 was undergoing an almost complete strip-down and rebuild.
The project required a compact fully-equipped on-air radio studio to be built on the lower saloon, and a luxurious VIP lounge and hospitality suite on the upper deck to be served with all the necessary audio and video feeds associated with a modern radio station.
In addition, a satellite uplink trailer was to be incorporated into the system to enable programming from the bus to be directed seamlessly back to the studio at Leicester Square. Needless to say it was a tight squeeze in many respects, as the pictures show, but the work was finished on time and the bus undertook its first OB in Hyde Park with Johnny Vaughan in charge on Wednesday 14 June.