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I was writing about my love of liminality last Thursday, when two worlds meet unexpectedly. This much reported story of Jenny Klochko’s wedding arrangements combines the liminal, and my love of public transport and London buses, together with my campaign against the Wedding-Industrial complex that has put people off getting married because of the massive social pressures and accompanying financial demands being made of them to put on a ‘great day’.

In a nutshell: she got the bus to her wedding!

I can't find a copyright-free photo of Jenny Klochko's journey, so here is a staged photo of a bride/model waiting for a bus caught by Listen Missy!

Mark Watts reports:

Most brides opt for a Rolls Royce or a horse drawn carriage to whisk them to the church on time.

However, one frugal bride decided to stand in line for a bus on her way to get hitched.

Bride Jenny Klochko Mussett, 28, stunned people on the 407 to Sutton when she jumped on in her full bridal gown to go to her ceremony at Sutton Register Office.

With two bridesmaids in tow, she flagged down the single-decker in Carshalton Road just after 1pm on Saturday, March 10, before touching her Oyster and travelling to Sutton town centre.

She then hopped off, and after stopping for a cup of tea in Manor Park, surprised shoppers by walking through Sutton High Street to the wedding in Worcester Road.

The freelance journalist, from Ukraine, said: “I wanted to do something different on my wedding day, so many weddings are the same these days and a little soulless.

“In the Ukraine it’s common for a bride to walk through the town on the way to her wedding so those who aren’t invited to the wedding can still see her.

“We thought this was a way I could do that.”

She said she was keen to have a London theme to her big day, and had looked into getting a white London taxi to the register office.

But she broke the news to new husband Ian Mussett, a manager for an insolvency firm the day before the wedding she would be taking the bus.

The 44-year-old made sure she left a full two hours before the ceremony, as he could not trust public transport.

Mrs Klochko Mussett, who used to work for the BBC World Service in Kiev, said the driver asked her if she was serious when she got on the bus.

But she said she was surprised by so little reaction from other passengers.

She said: “I think they thought it must be a practical joke. No one even offered me their seat.”

There is a great photo here.

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It’s here! The new Routemaster bus took to the streets this week.

I blogged about this two years ago, as a matter of existential concern for Londoners:

Perfect freedom is being able to step off the back of a London bus whenever you want, whatever the reason, and walk into the sunset without a bus-stop in sight.

Here are some pictures:

And here is the new all-important platform at the back:

And a few thoughts from the BBC:

The mayor called the bus “stunning” and “tailored to the London passenger”.

Following the new driver-and-conductor vehicle was a “protest” bus covered in slogans attacking the rise in public transport fares in London.

Mayor Boris Johnson has been criticised by the Labour, the Lib Dems and Green Party over the cost of the buses.

Mr Johnson announced plans for the new buses, which run on a hybrid diesel-electric motor, in his 2008 election manifesto.

In total, eight buses with an open “hop-on, hop-off” platform at the rear, costing £11.37m, will run on route 38. They will be staffed with conductors and will not run at night or during the weekends.

The last of the popular, open-platform Routemasters was withdrawn from regular service in December 2005, although some still run on tourist routes.

It costs a fortune:

In an open letter to the mayor, Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy said each new bus costs £1.4m compared with the conventional double-decker bus which costs about £190,000.

The original Routemaster buses were withdrawn from regular service in 2005

“Riding this bus is surely the most expensive bus ticket in history,” he said.

“With 62 seats at a cost of £1.4m, the cost per seat is £22,580. At £22,695, you can buy a brand new 3 series BMW.”

But Mr Johnson defended the new bus, saying: “When ordered in greater numbers it will make a significant economic contribution to the manufacturing industries, while also helping deliver a cleaner, greener and more pleasant city.”

“It’s not just a pretty face,” he added.

“The green innards of this red bus mean that it is twice as fuel efficient as a diesel bus and the most environment-friendly of its kind.”

TfL’s surface transport director Leon Daniels said: “This vehicle really has set a new standard.

“It utilises the latest cutting edge engine technology to deliver phenomenal fuel economy and emission performance.”

It’s on my agenda, together with the new fourth plinth, for when I am in central London next.

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Perfect freedom is being able to step off the back of a London bus whenever you want, whatever the reason, and walk into the sunset without a bus-stop in sight.

Apologies for this second London-centric piece of trivia, but the city is abuzz with the news that Boris’s new Routemaster will be hitting the streets soon. Well, five prototypes will be designed and built for £7.8m.

Matthew Taylor reports:

The original Routemaster was withdrawn from regular service in December 2005 by Ken Livingstone, while he was London’s mayor, though some still run on a limited basis on two “heritage routes”. The new buses, which were a key part of Johnson’s 2008 election manifesto, will have two doors as well as a shuttered platform, which will allow passengers to hop on and off.

A spokesman for the mayor said the initial cost of the buses included design and development, research, prototypes and testing. He added that the cost was expected to drop to about £300,000 per bus as “hundreds” came into use in the coming years.

However, Darren Johnson, a Green party member on the London assembly, claimed the mayor had underestimated the cost of the new buses at every stage. “Development costs have more than doubled since Boris said the budget was only £3m, and that the rest would be borne by the industry. In September he was saying each bus would cost less than £250,000, now it is £300,000. We still haven’t got clear answers from him about the extra costs of running these buses with the conductor and the ‘hop on, fall off’ insurance premium.

The new buses will have two staircases and be made of lightweight materials. The mayor’s office said this meant they would be 15% more fuel-efficient than existing hybrid buses and 40% more efficient than conventional diesel double-deckers.

At today’s launch Johnson dismissed his critics. “This iconic new part of our transport system is not only beautiful but also has a green heart beating beneath its stylish, swooshing exterior. It will cut emissions and give Londoners a bus they can be proud of, complete with cutting-edge design and the freedom of an open platform. I expect to eventually have hundreds of these on London’s roads, and for cities around the globe to be beside themselves with envy for our stunning red emblem of 21st-century London.”

For me, the rear platform of the Routemaster is another magical example of liminality, like bridges and tangents and waiting rooms and wardrobes. You are on but not on. You can go or stay. You are inside and outside at the same time. You can jump.

The other public transport example of liminality (and danger) that springs to mind is the paternoster lift. Are they still legal? The ones where there are no doors and the lift platforms simply move without stopping – and you have to step on, at your own peril, at just the right moment. Which is easy, compared with the stepping off. I had a friend at Sheffield University in the ’80s and I’d take a detour just to jump on the paternoster in the huge arts faculty building. The last functioning one I found was at Northwick Park hospital – closed to the public, but I was able to use it as ‘a member of staff’ (a visiting priest on a sick call). Is it still there? Health and safety have probably closed it down. I’d love to read a study of paternoster lifts…

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