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E-bus fire in London, TfL removes fleet from service “as a precaution” during investigations

E-bus fire in London, TfL removes fleet from service “as a precaution” during investigations

 

Following a few incidents involving double-decker buses catching fire in recent weeks, a fleet of electric buses in South London has been withdrawn from service as a precaution. According to BBC reports, Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that the electric buses operating on route 200, connecting Raynes Park and Mitcham, were temporarily suspended.

This is not the first time TfL has taken such action. In 2022, 90 electric buses were temporarily recalled after a fire incident at the Potters Bar depot in Hertfordshire, which resulted in damage to six buses. As a result of the suspension, around five routes will experience disruptions. Similarly, RATP in Paris had to withdraw 149 Bluebus electric buses in 2022 due to fire incidents.

In a separate incident, another bus, a hybrid by Alexander Dennis, caught fire on Friday. TfL clarified that this incident was unrelated to the previous one involving the electric bus.

The fire on Thursday damaged a portion of a double-decker electric bus, an Optare Metrodecker, on Wimbledon Hill Road while operating on Route 200 towards Raynes Park.

Go-Ahead, which recently celebrated a decade of electric bus operation in London, manages 520 zero-emission buses on behalf of TfL. The company plans to increase this number to 1,000 by the end of 2026, constituting nearly half of its fleet. By 2035, Go-Ahead aims to convert its entire fleet of 5,000 UK buses to zero-emission vehicles as part of its strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

Tom Cunnington, TfL’s head of bus business development, reassured the public regarding the safety of London's bus network, stating that there is no indication linking the hybrid bus fire to the earlier electric bus incident in Wimbledon. TfL and bus operators remain vigilant and committed to ensuring the safety of the bus network.

Opening picture: Youtube channel of The Times and The Sunday Times

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Published: 19-02-2024

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