A creative retired bus driver has brought a new meaning to pimping a ride, by transforming a defunct mobility scooter into a bright yellow miniature double decker.
Decking out the double decker
Keith Burbage picked up a used and defunct electric scooter for £40 and decided not only to repair it, but to totally renovate it. His six-month project saw him fashion the exterior from corrugated plastic and metal tubing from disused advertising signs, and elongate the scooter to make a 6ft long by 4ft high frame. It was given a bright yellow finish, with destination signs and over 30 perspex sheet windows.
Internally, the mini decker has two genuine bus seats from the Bournemouth Corporation, which Keith rescued 30 years ago from skips.
This novel mode of transport can reach 5mph. Of course, one crucial aspect to any mobility scooter is the right battery, such as the quality mobility batteries found at http://grovesbatteries.co.uk/Mobility.aspx.
In 2012, there were an estimated 300,000 mobility scooters in use and the numbers continue to rise in the UK. From all of the thousands of scooters, it’s unlikely there will be another mini bus conversion.
The man behind the making
75-year-old Keith got his licence in 1986, and drove buses for the school run each morning and afternoon, filling the middle of his days with his pottery business. Since retiring, he continues to drive as a volunteer for a local club.
Keith never lost appreciation for such a classic mode of transport. After originally building a tram service, the Bournemouth Corporation introduced a bus service in 1906 to feed into the tram network. More buses were added to the Yellow Buses system in the 1930s, where trolleybuses took over from trams in 1936. These were then replaced with the classic road buses in the 60s. The Yellow Bus is iconic, and Keith’s miniature version is no exception.
The scooter bus has two doors on the side, and his wife, Carol, will often ride it or walk alongside. It’s no surprise that their trips up and down the Bournemouth Promenade turn heads, as this quirky little vehicle is hard to miss, and unsurprisingly, many want a photo to capture its brilliance.