A fleet of electric buses has been removed from service in South London after a double-decker caught fire on Thursday. The incident occurred during the morning rush hour in Wimbledon. The bus was promptly evacuated. After the incident, BBC reports that Transport for London (TfL) stated that «electric buses on route 200, which runs between Raynes Park and Mitcham, had been removed from service “as a precaution”».

A similar measure was taken by the same TfL in 2022, temporary recalling 90 electric buses after a fire involved one of them at Potters Bar depot in Hertfordshire, run by Metroline. Six buses were damaged. Due to the suspension of the e-bus fleet, disruption will involve around five routes. Also in 2022, RATP put out of service some 149 Bluebus electric buses in Paris due to a couple of fire events.

Additionally, another bus caught fire on Friday, with TfL noting that it was unrelated to the previous incident: this second fire involved a hybrid bus by Alexander Dennis.

Source of opening picture: Youtube channel of The Times and The Sunday Times 

Switch Mobility Optare Metrodecker caugth fire

The fire on Thursday caused damage to a portion of a double-decker electric bus Optare Metrodecker on Wimbledon Hill Road in Wimbledon, in service on Route 200 travelling towards Raynes Park.

Go-Ahead had just been celebrating 10 years of electric bus operation in London: the company operates 520 zero emission buses on behalf of TfL and expects to increase this number to 1,000 by the end of 2026 – account for almost half the company’s fleet. According to plans, Go-Ahead’s entire fleet of 5,000 UK buses will be converted to zero emission vehicles by 2035. It’s just one of the pillars of the company’s strategy to reach carbon neutrality by 2045.

Tom Cunnington, TfL’s head of bus business development, is quoted on the BBC as saying: “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. TfL and the bus operators will not hesitate to take action if required to ensure the bus network remains safe”.

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