The parts of the poles and rails around the back platform of Routemasters that are grabbed by passengers should be covered with a special white plastic corrugated tape called Doverite. You will need two rolls for an RM/RML.

First drill out the rivets securing the collars at each end of the taped sections.



RM471 had multiple layers of scruffy insulating tape on the poles and this was difficult to remove. I used a Stanley knife and it was easier when I had softened the old tape with a heat gun.



When the pole is clear of tape clean off the old adhesive with white spirit until it is really clean and then create a key on the pole with glass paper or wire wool



Now you need to spray the pole with an adhesive. I used “Bostik Fast-Tak Repositionable” which seemed OK.



Now you need to start applying the Doverite tape. Arrange it so that the flat edge is uppermost and is covered neatly by the thick ridged edge. You will need to feather the first section to give a neat horizontal edge which will fit under the collar. I found it easier to work from the bottom up.


Secure the collar temporarily (I used a drill bit) to hold things in place. If you keep the unused coil in a plastic bag you will keep it clean and it will be tidy enough to coil round the pole while you carefully position the tape.



When you get to the top trim the tape off neatly and rivet the collar in place. I used 4.8mm x 12mm pop rivets from Sterling Bolt & Nut Co. Ltd who also supplied the Eclipse-Spiralux Lazy Tong Riveter which is a doddle to use.



Start with the central pole which is easiest and most accessible and a good one to learn the technique. Be careful, you don’t want the head of the riveter to slip and spoil all your careful handiwork. You may need to remove the curved rail backing onto to the lower saloon in order to get to the rivets.


You will get some dirty marks where the tape has been contaminated with adhesive. White spirit cleans these off really well.


I was very chuffed indeed with the finished result. Getting the old tape of the poles took a lot longer than fixing the new tape!


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