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Westminster City Council reviewing road signage after ‘freak’ bus accident with tree

Westminster City Council is urgently reviewing road signage policy after a freak accident in which a collision led to a tree branch tearing off the roof of a double decker bus in Kingsway.

Cllr Richard Beddoe, Westminster City Council cabinet member for city management, said:

First and foremost, our priority is to make sure the road is safe. In partnership with TfL, a decision was taken to put clear signage in place directing high-sided vehicles away from the kerb. Following this incident, we will be reviewing this approach as a matter of urgency.

Bus passengers were left in shock after the roof of a 91 bus was sheered yesterday lunch-time next to the London School of Economics campus on Kingsway.

Witnesses quickly took photos of the scene.

Police confirmed that five people had been injured, with one young man suffering a broken nose.

The fire brigade who arrived at the scene, tweeted that there had been minor injuries.

One eyewitness reported hearing a loud bang and saw a tree branch hit the upper left hand side of the bus roof, which then tore off the roof, leaving it hanging on the road behind the bus.

A picture circulating on Twitter indicates a road sign warning drivers of overhanging branches.

At the scene London Fire Brigade station manager Gary Squires said:

Those involved were very lucky to escape serious injury. You can see the missing bark from the tree and the roof has come up and off the bus. This is a very unusual incident. It is a freak accident.

The fire brigade also helped to make the area safe before leaving the scene at around 2.20pm.

Darcey Delaproser, a full-time carer who was on the bus, told reporters that he suspected the impact was a bomb explosion: ‘The whole thing was cut off as though it had been sliced by a knife, like a knife through butter. If there had been anyone standing up on the top deck, they wouldn’t stand a chance.’

The 51-year-old also said there were five to six people on the top deck and about 12 or 13 people on the bottom.

Shards of the glass and pieces of styrofoam littered the top deck and the road below.

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