Sharing A Proud Heritage - Smith Brothers & Webb Drive Forward Into New Era With Routemaster Buses


One is a classic British brand instantly identified by millions around the world as synonymous with London – the other is internationally recognised only by those in the transport operating sector.
The Britannia brand of automated washing systems manufactured by Smith Brothers & Webb, however, has had a long association with the famous red Routemaster double-decker bus.
Apart from both being products of a proud British heritage of engineering excellence, for many decades the iconic Routemaster buses in London have been cleaned by Britannia Washing Systems.
The exact dates are lost in the mists of time – it is believed that the association with Britannia stretches back to the mid-1960’s - but the tradition continues today with the new Routemasters – introduced by London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2012 which continue to be cleaned by Britannia.
Andy Barracliffe, Director of Britannia Washing Systems, said: “We are extremely proud, as a UK manufacturing firm, to have played a vital role in keeping the Routemaster buses looking their best in London.
“We know they are dear to the hearts of many around the world – tourists and London Mayor Boris Johnson alike.  We are delighted to once again be asked to provide automated washing systems for them.
“They, like us represent some of the best of British engineering and we look forward to many more years to come of washing Routemaster buses. There can almost be no better advertisement of our unsurpassed wash quality.”
The Routemaster bus is celebrating its 60th birthday – the first prototypes took to the roads in 1954 – and Smith Brothers & Webb, manufacturer of the Britannia Washing Systems, this year celebrating 70 years of the Britrannia brand – has for almost 50 years been responsible for keeping the Routemaster buses clean.
Renowned around the world in transport circles for the reliability, robustness, quality and efficiency of its bespoke automated washing machines, Smith Brothers & Webb manufactures all its products at its factory in Alcester, Warwickshire.
The company can trace its roots back to 1886 when William and Charles Smith set up a construction company that later diversified into engineering. In 1944 it launched the Britannia brand, first producing washing machines for trains and later for bus, coach and commercial vehicles.
Such is the popularity of its products that Smith Brothers & Webb now exports all over the world, including to China, India, Australia, the Middle East as well as to Europe and is continuing to expand following a boom in orders this year.
Its Britannia Streamline washing system can wash up to 80 buses an hour, giving the quick turnaround required for modern fleet requirements, making it a favoured choice amongst bus and coach operators.


> Back To Latest News > Contact Us