Electric buses in south-west London are temporarily withdrawn after a double-decker caught fire in Wimbledon. The Mayor's office has confirmed the withdrawal, citing safety concerns, as investigations into the incident are underway.

15 January 2024

As stated in our previous news article, a fire took place on a route 200 electric bus along Wimbledon Hill Road, early on Thursday morning. This has prompted the temporary withdrawal of several buses of the same model in south-west London. Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed the suspension after the incident caused the closure of the road, though no injuries were reported, according to statements from the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, and Transport for London (TfL).

The affected buses, operating on the 200 route between Raynes Park and Mitcham, have been withdrawn as a precautionary measure. TfL has initiated an investigation into the cause of the fire. Buses from the same manufacturer, serving other routes across London, are also set to undergo thorough checks urgently.

Notably, the 200 route is the only one operated by GoAhead using the specific model that caught fire. Confirmation of the withdrawal came after the London Assembly's Tory group called for decisive action.

Keith Prince, City Hall Conservatives’ transport spokesman, urged Mayor Sadiq Khan to order the withdrawal of all electric buses from the manufacturer, Switch, until the cause of the Wimbledon incident is understood. Emphasising the need for urgent safety checks on the entire electric bus fleet, Prince stated, "Londoners need to have confidence that their bus is safe and won’t burst into flames. Sadiq Khan must not compromise the safety of Londoners."

In response, a spokesperson for the mayor assured that safety is TfL's top priority. As a precaution, TfL has temporarily withdrawn the fleet of buses operating on route 200, and all buses from the relevant manufacturer will undergo thorough checks urgently. The mayor is confident that TfL is working closely with the operator and the manufacturer to investigate the incident promptly.

Prince's call for action coincided with MailOnline reporting a second bus fire, this time involving a hybrid vehicle in North Woolwich at about 6.40 am on Friday. While no passengers were on board, and there were no injuries reported, TfL's head of buses business development, Tom Cunnington, stated that investigations are underway to determine the cause. He reassured the public that London's bus network remains safe, emphasising that TfL and bus operators are committed to taking necessary actions to ensure ongoing safety.

View the SOURCE here.

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