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VIDEO: Arson suspected as fire destroys Western Greyhound buses

By WBMiles  |  Posted: May 14, 2013

Comments (11)

Update: 8.35am:

A massive fire which ripped through Summercourt's Western Greyhound depot yesterday morning may have been started deliberately, police have said.

Devon and Cornwall Police say following investigations, it is now thought the fire, which destroyed a third of the company's fleet worth around £1.5million, was started deliberately.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police quoting crime reference GC/13/151.

Western Greyhound said the following services were not running - 522, 547, 550, 551, 556, 557, 558, 559, 585, 586, 596

The following services are running with a reduced service - 524, 525, 594

The company said that unless stated, all other services were running as normal.

7am Monday

More than 35 buses were destroyed by fire in a massive blaze near Newquay overnight.

Firefighters were called at just after 1am to deal with the inferno at the Western Greyhound bus depot at Summercourt.

There is expected to be massive disruption to school and general bus services this morning after 37 buses were destroyed.

Fire crews from nine centres attended the blaze near the A30 with flames visible for miles in the early hours.

Mark Howarth, managing director of Western Greyhound, said the fire was "devastating".

He said: "We know 37 buses out of 100 have been burned out. It's obviously devastating."

Mr Howarth was called just after 1am this morning and went straight to the scene.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "A large number of buses have been destroyed by fire which will impact on the bus service provided in mid-Cornwall."

Police said nobody was injured in the blaze.

The A3058 Newquay to St Austell Road has now been re-opened.

The Highways Agency have put diversions in place.

Cornwall Council said the park-and-ride in Truro would be affected but would still run a limited service this morning.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established and investigations by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and Devon and Cornwall Police will continue.

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  • kevinsweekly  |  May 14 2013, 3:21PM

    any connection to this arsonist and the one who has just burnt down the house in hayle 42 fire engines at that fire! come on police get your finger out!

    |   -1
  • manicstreet  |  May 13 2013, 11:22PM

    I can hear Blakely saying I hate you butler.

    |   -8
  • manicstreet  |  May 13 2013, 6:31PM

    The service to chard has survived at least!!.

    |   -4
  • ompeypompey  |  May 13 2013, 6:21PM

    Axelia - can you explain to me exactly why you think the council should be sorting out the buses? They have enough without having to cut other services to subsidise transport further.

  • Jonny2010  |  May 13 2013, 6:03PM

    @axelia "I might even go as far as saying your attitude is similar to that of those who find arson a main source of entertainment." I have reported you to the Police.

    |   -19
  • axelia  |  May 13 2013, 2:25PM

    Jonny2010, Monday, May 13 2013, 1:42PM "Wheels on fire!" I really don't think your comment is useful, considering how many people rely on public transport in Cornwall. The closure of some of the bus routes might be enough to people out of work and might even be as extreme as businesses being forced to close. Until you use the bus to get everywhere, I don't think you will understand how serious this is and quite how many people this will impact. I might even go as far as saying your attitude is similar to that of those who find arson a main source of entertainment.

    |   5
  • manicstreet  |  May 13 2013, 2:19PM

    As Blakey would sayin the buses get back to the depot!!.

  • axelia  |  May 13 2013, 11:09AM

    Update: Pirate FM seems to have more information about the bus cancellations and reduced services, this is what they have published: Services across mid-Cornwall are affected as follows: Not running: 522, 547, 550, 551, 556, 557, 558, 559, 585, 586, 596. Reduced service: 524 525 594. Running as normal: 501, 504, 507, 508, 509, 510, 512, 513, 515, 521, 527, 529, 530, 548, 555, 561, 572, 573, 576, 584, 591, 592, 593, 595 and the 599 (from 0933 at Okehampton.) Truro Park and Ride has had to draft in temporary buses, but it is operating as normal. The A3058 Newquay to St Austell road between Summercourt crossroads and Brighton Cross roundabout has reopened. I'm hoping that the cancelled services will be reopened sooner rather than later (depending on how quickly the council can step in and how fast the investigation takes), it may take them a few weeks to get more temporary buses for those services. I still expect there to be disruptions for the next 3 months while permanent replacement buses are manufactured and 'skinned' (putting the vinyl colours on), so if you need to use one of the low rider buses on the services still running then please contact Western Greyhound on 01637 871 871 - the bus may have been replaced with the older stepped buses. If you don't have any special need please don't call them, they have enough on their hands right now without lots of calls. Source: http://tinyurl.com/ckxndvs

    |   13
  • nickthompson  |  May 13 2013, 10:24AM

    WorriedJohn :---"Following decades of stability in the British Fire Service, Tony Blair's New Labour Party decided to make sweeping changes. I agree, but lets not get bogged down with the term "New Labour" Blair was a far better Tory Prime Minister than our present one, and carried through many policies which any Tory government would have been proud, cuts in the Fire Service, (and indeed ALL the services on which we depend) is high on the governments list of cuts, as the good folk of South Devon, and London know only too well, I would not be at all surprised if, following the sale of OUR Royal Mail, OUR Fire, and Rescue services will be go the same way.

    |   -9
  • axelia  |  May 13 2013, 9:23AM

    Some services are still running without too much of a problem - you can call Western Greyhound and ask if your service is still running but it's complete chaos there at the moment. If you are going to call, try and do it close to when your bus route will start or once the bus should have started your route if possible as then they will have a better idea if the service will be running or not. Be prepared for some services to be reduced (buses every hour will be every 2 hours for example) for a while since they need to find new buses and they take a long time to be ordered, made, and delivered. They do have a small fleet of spare buses that are used when other buses need repairs or should a bus break down, but it's not nearly enough to completely pick up the slack. This could take a while to sort out, I hope the council steps in quickly to help Western Greyhound out - with First buses barely operating in Cornwall we have no other bus service to turn to. And I hope that the drivers are able to stay on the books, I hate to think that the busless drivers have their jobs in jeopardy as well as those who use the buses. If the council steps in quickly then services shouldn't be disrupted for long, but if they don't then I don't know how Western Greyhound will be able to afford more new buses (since they had only recently bought some of the buses that they have now lost).

    |   17