Double decker bus crashes into Portchester railway bridge

The bus accident at Station Road, Potchester. Picture:  Simon Lovelock
The bus accident at Station Road, Potchester. Picture: Simon Lovelock
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A DOUBLE-DECKER bus roof was torn off after getting stuck under Portchester railway bridge.

The out-of-service First Group bus was being driven on the A27 at Portchester when the drama unfolded.

The driver - who has not yet been named - tried to steer the double-decker under a railway bridge at Railway Street and Station Road in Portchester shortly after 1pm today.

Police say the bus went under the bridge and out the other side - but the roof of the vehicle, which is at least 12ft high - was completely ripped off.

Remarkably no-one was hurt in the incident.

However debris was strewn across the road and police have had to shut the stretch while experts work at the scene.

Eye-witness Ashlee-Rose tweeted: ‘OK So I’m stood at Portchester station and suddenly underneath my feet a double decker bus crashes under the bridge where I’m stood!’

The driver of the bus was unhurt and there were no passengers on board.

A First Bus spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that one of our vehicles, which was travelling out of service, has been involved in an incident in Portchester.

‘There were no passengers on board the bus at the time, and while the driver was shaken by the incident he was not injured.

‘The exact cause of the incident is not yet known. This will be thoroughly investigated.

‘We would like to offer our sincere apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced by the incident.’

Police informed the Highways Agency and structural engineers who are assessing the damage.

Fire crews and medics were also called to the scene.

Network Rail was alerted and experts turned a live railway line off for about 20 minutes so structural engineers could examine the scene.

South West Trains said services travelling between Cosham and Fareham were operating at a reduced speed while investigating work was underway.

Colin Evans, 41, who lives nearby in The Fairway, said: ‘I was in the back garden cleaning my pond out when I heard it. It sounded like a bomb going off.

‘I heard some sirens so I walked up to the end of my road to see what was going on down there.

‘When I got up there I saw the roof of the bus under the bridge and the bus the other side.

‘Since I’ve lived here I think it’s the fifth or sixth double-decker that’s done that.

‘We’ve also had a skip lorry stuck under there.

‘I’ve lived here all my life.’

The road has now reopened. First Group is arranging for the bus to be recovered.

· Eye-witneses to the accident should call the Newsdesk on 023 92 622118. Eyewitness pictures should be sent to: