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Electric buses withdrawn after Wimbledon fire

The fire on the route 200 bus on Wimbledon Hill Road happened early on Thursday morning and Sadiq Khan has confirmed all buses of the same model have been temporarily withdrawn reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Keith Prince - a Conservative member of the London Assembly
Keith Prince AM – (Credit – London Assembly)

Several electric buses have been temporarily withdrawn from the streets of south-west London after a double decker bus burst into
flames in Wimbledon.

The fire on the route 200 bus on Wimbledon Hill Road happened early on Thursday morning and caused the road’s closure.

The Met Police and London Fire Brigade said there were no reported injuries, and Transport for London (TfL) said it was investigating
the cause.

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office has now confirmed that all buses of the same model which operate along the 200 route – between
Raynes Park and Mitcham – have been temporarily withdrawn.

All buses from the same manufacturer operating on other routes across London “will be checked thoroughly as a matter of urgency”,
they added. It is understood that the decision to pull the buses from the 200 route was made by the operator, GoAhead, while the incident is investigated.

The 200 is the only route operated by GoAhead which uses the model which caught fire. Confirmation that the buses have now been suspended from service was given after the London Assembly’s Tory group called for action on the matter.

Keith Prince, City Hall Conservatives’ transport spokesman, said the mayor should order the withdrawal of all electric buses which
come from the same manufacturer, Switch, until the Wimbledon incident’s cause is understood.


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He added: “We’re also calling for urgent checks on the remaining electric buses in the fleet to ensure they are safe.

“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.

“We need action, not words. Failure to act will tell Londoners that Sadiq Khan doesn’t care about safety.”

A spokeswoman for the mayor said in response: “Safety is TfL’s top priority.As a precautionary measure, TfL have temporarily
withdrawn from service the fleet of buses that normally operate on route 200 and all buses made by this relevant manufacturer will
be checked thoroughly as a matter of urgency.

“The mayor is assured that TfL is working with the operator and the relevant bus manufacturer to urgently investigate what
happened.”

Prince’s call for action came just minutes before MailOnline reported that a second bus fire had taken place on Friday, this time a
hybrid vehicle in North Woolwich at about 6.40am. Firefighters confirmed that no passengers were on the bus and there were no
injuries.

Tom Cunnington, TfL’s head of buses business development, said TfL was working with the bus’s operator and manufacturer to
investigate the cause.

“London’s bus network remains safe to use and we have no reason to suspect that this fire on a hybrid bus was linked to an earlier
incident on an electric bus in Wimbledon,” he told MailOnline.

“The bus was out of service when the fire happened and there are no reported injuries. TfL and the bus operators will not hesitate to
take action if required to ensure the bus network remains safe.”


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