When you think of London you might think of Big Ben, the Thames or the London Underground. 

But no matter what, there is always one iconic feature of the capital that people will mention, as the iconic and beloved red double-decker bus has become synonymous with London.

From key rings, tops, bags and much more, the buses are always featured on London-style merchandise and have even become a key tourist experience for many travellers. 

But, like all travel services that work hard day in and day out, all London buses have to retire one day.

Inside the Transport for London bus scrapyard

Once the modern becomes the vintage and diesel is replaced with electric, many buses end up being left to live out their last days waiting to become scrap.

Back in the 1980s and 90s, many buses took their final ride to Barnsley, where the biggest bus scrapyard site is owned by Geoff Ripley, according to MyLondon

Set across six acres the site now features all types of buses, with many iconic red London buses lined up waiting for their fate and being used as spare parts.

Across YouTube, many bus fans have shared their adventures of exploring the bus cemetery, including one user, Soi Buakhao who discovered footage taken in 1985 showing Routemasters and many more. 

The video description shares how many London Transport Routemasters "ended their days in the scrap yards along Wheatshaws Lane, Barnsley."

Adding that "there were several yards there that took various amounts of Routemasters, RM, RMA & RCL's, and broke them up. Some parts were returned to LT but mostly they were smashed to pieces by a giant grab crane."

The video shows how they were broken down and taken apart ready to be scraped or used for spare parts and according to the user, the scrapyard saw around 1000 Routemaster meet their fate.


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Fellow bus fans shared their memory of the iconic buses, as one user wrote: "Excellent footage. Good to see this old scrap being recycled. The RMs were better built because they were designed to be refurbished and rebuilt over a longer lifespan like a large locomotive."

Another added: "Very sad to see, makes it worse that when I was restoring an RML about 8 years ago that parts were so hard to find. Many of these could have been sold on and had years of life left in them. The best bus ever."

Although back in the 80s and 90s many buses met their fate, nowadays many are saved and have since been repurposed to become unique modes of transport for big events like weddings whilst some have even converted them to become homes.