Colin Curtis, one of the masterminds of the famous London Routemaster bus has died at the age of 86. He died last Tuesday in Crawley hospital after a six week illness.There will be a memorial service organised by his family towards the end of the year.

Colin Curtis was dubbed 'the father of the Routemaster', a title he didn't like, saying if anyone was, it was Bill Durrant. He was the sole survivor of the team who worked with the prototypes.

He joined London Transport in 1947 and pioneered the widespread use of hydraulics, notably in the Routemaster's braking system.

After retirement from London Buses he ran his own consultancy and tried very hard to get his own 'Q-Master' design adopted by one of the commercial manufacturers. Sadly it never materialised.

He was active in the preservation movement, and wrote about his life and times in a book '40 Years with London Transport' which is now out of print.

A Routemaster bus crosses Westminster Bridge Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

His wealth of knowledge and experience was always in demand and he would give interesting and thought-provoking lectures until eventually, his health did not allow it.