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Passenger praises driver as wheel catches fire on bus

Fire crew attend incident at Alnwick bus station
Fire crew attend incident at Alnwick bus station

A bus driver has been praised for his actions after his vehicle’s wheel caught fire during a regular journey yesterday.

The Glen Valley Tours 473 journey from Wooler to Alnwick hit a problem when its back right wheel started smoking as it reached Battle Bridge.

Richard Binks and Vanessa Strand

Richard Binks and Vanessa Strand

Richard Binks, 29, and his partner Vanessa Strand, 23, caught the bus from Glanton to go to Alnwick, a journey they regularly take.

He said: “We took the 9.20am service and just as we came to Battle Bridge, the bus driver, Jason, noticed that smoke was coming from the back right wheel.

“He pulled into a layby and rang the company who told him to wait there until the smoke cleared. We understood that it was a new valve or something that needed to be broken in,

“The smoke died down and we got the all-clear to go after about 15 minutes.

“The smoke started again on the way into Alnwick and when we got into the bus station, we both noticed that the back wheel had caught fire.

“Jason got everyone off the bus and went to get fire extinguishers to try to put it out and I called the fire brigade. But we couldn’t put it out with the extinguishers and then noticed that it had spread to the other wheel as well.

“Jason was great, he kept his calm and he coped really well. He did everything he should but I think he was a bit shaken up.”

Vanessa was sat on the side of the bus where the fire started and was ‘shaken up’ by the incident.

Richard and Vanessa both volunteer at the Salvation Army shop in Alnwick and have lived in Glanton for two years.

Two fire crews from Alnwick were called to the fire just before 10am.

They used two hose reels to put out the fire.