Waiting for public transport can be a real pain but it was lucky no-one was seriously injured when a double-decker bus flattened a shelter this afternoon.
Witnesses described hearing a huge bang as the red Metroline bus crashed into the stop in North Finchley High Road at the junction with Mayfield Avenue shortly after midday.
No-one was in the shelter, which crumpled under the impact and scattered glass across the pavement, and passengers and the driver escaped injury.
Passengers travelling south towards Finchley Central were ushered off the stricken vehicle and instructed to wait for another bus.
Norman Reid, who works at a nearby car garage, said: “The driver must have just swung in too far – it’s amazing. It was just lucky no-one was in the bus shelter or it could have been nasty.”
Transport for London, which operates the service, directed buses on routes 125, 263, 626 and N20 to a temporary stop a few metres down the road.
A TfL spokesman said: “The driver sadly misjudged it coming into the stop. The shelters are designed to crumple as this one did and it was a very low impact strike.
“He just came in slightly at the wrong angle and because the buses pull up quite close to the stops, the left corner of the bus just clipped it.
“I imagine the driver was a bit shaken but no-one was injured.”
Despite the apparent low impact of the collision, onlookers were surprised by the amount of damage caused to the shelter, which was almost completely destroyed.
Richard Fielden, 51, said: “I’m sure anyone in that shelter would have been badly injured with the way it has come down – it looks pretty dangerous to me.
“I’m sure they do tests on these things and there must be a reason for it but I would not have liked to have been in there when it happened.”
The bus was towed away by a recovery truck shorty before 2pm but a police cordon around the damaged shelter remained in place this afternoon.
Were you on the bus or did you see the crash? Do you think the bus shelters should be designed to crumple on impact? Leave your comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.