All aboard! New tram-bus due to launch

Electric 'tram-buses' will launch in South London in a matter of weeks, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed.

The new buses, known as ieTrams are built by a Spanish company, called Irizar, and will operate on route 358, linking Orpington with Crystal Palace.

The buses feature large windows and covered wheels to ensure pedestrians and cyclists don't get caught and dragged underneath in the event of an accident.

Despite initial plans to launch these vehicles in early 2023, the date has been repeatedly delayed, with the mayor now stating they will now launch later this summer.

The mayor's office says "The all-electric Route 358 ieTram buses are expected to start operating in summer 2024.

"They will be Transport for London's (TfL) first end-to-end 'Opportunity Charging' trial, and it is important to get the hardware installed properly before the buses are introduced.

"The electric buses will use pantograph technology for a quick boost charge at either end of the route, allowing the buses to stay out for the full day.

"The new buses, which resemble a tram, will have enhanced customer features and the latest bus safety specifications."

Picture: Irizar/TfL

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