Bus wedged across street in London 'like scene from Austin Powers'

Several passers-by and many passengers try to help free the bus, after it becomes stuck midway through a three-point turn

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The Independent Online

A bus driver accidentally wedged his vehicle in a central London street while attempting a three-point turn.

The rear of the red double-decker bus mounted the kerb, leaving the vehicle stuck and blocking the road, in an incident a witness described as reminiscent of a scene in spy-comedy Austin Powers.

Several passers-by and many passengers attempted to help free the bus as its engine strained in Cornhill near Bank station.

It is unclear when the route 21 bus was freed after it became stuck shortly before 2pm on 1 April.

Footage of the incident shows a crowd of onlookers sniggering at the mess, which played out like a large scale re-enactment of a famous scene in the nineties American blockbuster where protagonist Powers gets a luggage cart stuck in a corridor.

Witness Adrian Brailsford told the Evening Standard:  “It was trying to do a three-point turn but the back mounted the kerb. The wheels were spinning round and round.

“All the passengers got off and tried to get it moving again, as you can see, trying to push it off the kerb.

The 46-year-old from Leyton, east London, added: “The passengers didn’t seem to mind rolling up their sleeves and lending a helping hand.

“People seemed quite amused by it all. Some were stopping and taking photos.

“We stopped to watch for about 10 to 15 minutes, but I have no idea what happened after that.”

Comparing the incident to the film, Mr Brailsford said: “I imagine the bus would be considerably more difficult to manoeuvre, so it’s a good job Austin Powers wasn’t behind the wheel.”

Transport for London has since explained the driver attempted a three-point turn because of diversions in the area.

Head of bus Operations at TfL Tony Akers said: “This was a case of driver error because of diversions in the area. We apologise to passengers and are looking into how it happened with Go-Ahead London who operate the bus.”

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