Wellington Scoop

Passengers safe after bus catches fire in Wadestown

Photo: Don Carson

A bus caught fire this morning in Wadestown.

The city council reported that the bus was on fire at the intersection of Vautier Avenue and Cecil Road.

It said traffic management was in place and it asked motorists to avoid the area.

Police said all passengers were off the bus, and safe.

Photo: Don Carson

Route 14 bus services were stopped, because of the fire.

Metlink have provided no explanation of the fire. NZ Bus chief commercial officer Scott Thorne told the DomPost that it started in the diesel engine, but the exact cause was not yet known. The bus was about 10-years-old, he said.

NZTA photo

Wellington.Scoop – January 14
Two vehicle fires delayed Wellington traffic today.

At 11.45am, two northbound lanes of State Highway 1 on Arthur Street, just past the Taranaki Street intersection, were blocked (above) because of a vehicle on fire. It was extinguished after 15 minutes, and all lanes were cleared.

At 1.25pm on the Remutaka Hill Road, both lanes of SH2 were closed by a vehicle on fire. About half an hour later, one lane was reopened and traffic started moving under “stop/go” control.

NZTA said the fire wasn’t extinguished till 2.30pm, at which time the second lane was reopened, and traffic started moving again normally.


  1. Traveller, 15. January 2020, 8:26

    Was the burning bus one of the rejects from Auckland?

  2. Ms Green, 15. January 2020, 8:52

    Was it one of the ones that has this slogan printed on it:
    “My days are numbered. A new bus will be replacing this one soon?”
    How many more know their days are numbered? For how long? Until they burst into flames?

  3. Greenwelly, 15. January 2020, 8:58

    It was an old Euro 3 bus, reg CTA891. But it appears it was one of the old Go Wellington Fleet from NZ Bus, not from Auckland. [See the photos of the burnt bus, which have been added to the report.]

  4. Ms Green, 15. January 2020, 9:19

    So its days aren’t numbered?

  5. Keith Flinders, 15. January 2020, 9:37

    Fleet No. 2480, Reg. No. CTA891, Make MAN 17.223, Built 2005, Body Designline, VIN 7ABA800352AD01012. Euro 3 rating as Greenwelly writes. I guess another old Auckland bus is on its way to replace it. For those interested, here is a list of NZ Bus buses plying Wellington routes as of early 2019.

  6. Dave B, 15. January 2020, 15:44

    Keith, was this list compiled prior to the battery double-deckers arriving? I don’t see them on it.

  7. Graham Atkinson, 15. January 2020, 16:19

    Dave B. NZ Bus have no battery double deckers, these are operated by Tranzurban whose entire fleet, apart from the 10 EVs, is Euro 6.

  8. Keith Flinders, 15. January 2020, 17:33

    Dave B: The list only covers NZ Bus buses, hence no battery double decker ones included. I do not have access to the details of the fleets operated by others contractors, but can add details if someone can supply them.

  9. Keith Flinders, 15. January 2020, 20:14

    Dave B: I have now obtained the list of Tranzurban buses in their Greater Wellington fleet, and these are listed at the ReVolt site. The 10 battery double deckers are at the end of the list.

    A number of older NZ Bus buses have been deleted from their fleet since I last updated the file and no longer appear in the list posted to the site this evening.

    There are still a number of older buses listed as “interim”, and more that should be, awaiting replacements, hopefully all being battery operated.

  10. Katy, 15. January 2020, 22:11

    The problem for us pedestrians and cyclists is that the old diesels come out in the peak when we are walking and cycling about. WCC is banning people smoking in public but has happily gone along with GWRC organising diesel bus air pollution which is much worse.

  11. Dave B, 16. January 2020, 15:35

    Graham, Keith. Thanks for clarifying.

  12. Dan Tosfery, 16. January 2020, 16:16

    Thanks Katy – I just realised I’m a passive diesel bus exhaust emission inhaler when I’m cycling or walking along Lambton Quay and Willis Street. I wonder if I can claim on ACC for damage to my lungs?

  13. Keith Flinders, 16. January 2020, 19:06

    Katy: There are still 71 over-15- years-old Euro 3 buses roaming Wellington streets all day, as well as at peak hours. The Euro 3 emissions standard is from the 1990s and vehicles built to it are not allowed on the streets in Europe. Same should apply here.

    Unfortunately Wellingtonians never realised the value of the trolley buses, in respect of the air we breathe, until they were gone. Chair Fran Wilde and ten regional councillors determined in 2014 that the the trolleys had to go, a decision based on some statements that were refuted and deemed incorrect. No environmental impact study was carried out – this is astounding in itself from an organisation charged with protecting the health, safety, and welfare, of those who pay for its existence.

    Crs Sue Kedgley and Paul Bruce were the only dissenting voices in the 2013 – 2016 regional council as far as this decision was concerned, but they received no support from the others. The WCC also was missing when it came to opposing the demise of the trolleys. Working with Sue and Paul were others who also pointed out the health implications, but all were dismissed as scaremongers or ignored. The 2014 decision was “no trolley buses in Wellington” and the regional council never waivered from that stance. Both councils then, and now, promoted cycling and walking, in spite of the known air quality issues at the time. Recent NIWA data clearly shows the Golden mile is as polluted as a 4 lane motorway.

    So we lost the trolley buses which at one stage numbered 119, and got a 97% diesel fleet. We are promised 80 battery buses in Wellington by the end of 2020, but seeing will be believing. Still a long way short of the 119 in the 1960s and 1970s, and even further away from a total non polluting public transport bus fleet mix with mass transit we should aim for. It’s up to all Wellingtonians to keep the pressure on the regional council, but how many will?

  14. Zoodoomo, 16. January 2020, 19:39

    Get the bus for goodness sake Dan Tosfery. Save damage to your lungs.
    Not everything you don’t like about your life is entitled to be paid by the taxpayer.

  15. Karori Pete, 16. January 2020, 22:28

    Zoodoomo – air quality is actually even worse on the buses thanks to air conditioning etc! I think Sue Kedgley asked for air quality to be measured on the buses(?). What happened to that monitoring? I think it was for the health of the drivers (since they spend 8 hours a day inhaling the fumes). As Keith Flinders so aptly says – what a shame the trolley buses were axed. I’d add that is was largely because of the indifference of the hoi polloi.

  16. Michael Gibson, 17. January 2020, 9:44

    Katy, Dan Tosfery – Councillor Jennie is waiting for an answer from officers about whether WCC can ban diesel vehicles from (Central and other parts of) Wellington.

  17. Zoodoomo, 17. January 2020, 18:26

    Karori Peter – whether you walk,cycle,bus,scooter or drive a car (and they all have air conditioning) – it’s the same air everyone breathes including the shopkeepers who work with open front doors and people who live on main streets and all those who live near the airport and the port. Keeping the trolley buses and keeping the air clean is wishful thinking. Let that era go. We need to move on. We have LGWM – but – that’s another story.

  18. Zoodoomo, 17. January 2020, 19:11

    Michael Gibson – Cnr Jennie looking to ban diesels from central Wellington. What impact might this have on retailers? What impact might this have on road works (surprises happen and I’m thinking something smelly.) What impact might this have on fire engines (surely they are not electric)?
    If the worry is diesel emissions, what might – if any – be your worries about cruise ship emissions not to mention emissions from the Airport? Not to mention the wind in our city.

  19. Guntao Stem, 17. January 2020, 22:35

    Zoodoomo – let’s not forget ‘good for the garden’ emissions from Wellington zoo.

  20. Michael Gibson, 18. January 2020, 8:54

    Zoodoomo – firstly, I join Guntao Stem in commenting on the emissions from the zoo. What do you have to say about these?
    Secondly, the question of WCC banning diesels is immaterial if it is outside the powers of the Council. I am waiting to hear from Councillor Jennie about this.
    Thirdly, the details of the ban must surely be handled by our elected representatives. As far as I am concerned, a total ban on those ghastly diesel buses from Auckland would be a sufficient start. It would also be a sign that the WCC would no longer tolerate the appalling way that the Regional Council has approached its responsibilities towards the signing and operation of its contracts with bus operators. How on earth did they contract to allow the sort of pollution which we are having to suffer? (Remember that this is noise both inside and outside the buses as well as fumes.)

  21. Dan Tosfery, 19. January 2020, 10:01

    School children travelling by bus also inhale onboard diesel fumes and let’s remember, school buses are usually the oldest buses in the fleet with the worst emission ratings. Shows how much we value our children’s health!

  22. Michael Gibson, 19. January 2020, 15:40

    Dan Tosfery – very good point. The fumes would also affect all children at bus-stops – ditto the noise level inside those Auckland rejects.

  23. Helen, 19. January 2020, 17:58

    Tinakori Road and Hill Street are full of NIS (Not in Service ) buses and school buses. They are often the oldest diesel buses, loud and smelly. Wellington has certainly lost a lot of its charm.

  24. BHS, 20. January 2020, 7:40

    @Helen. Agreed and some buses turning off the motorway onto Tinakori Rd are too long to fit without climbing the curb. Dangerous for the pedestrians waiting at the intersection. What’s galling is there is no scheduled bus service along Tinakori Rd. We just get the noise and air pollution.