A London bus has burst into flames in Kingston

Updated: 

Fire crews are battling a blaze on a bus that has sent a plume of dark grey smoke funnelling into the sky from a south-west London street.

Police, firefighters and ambulance crews were called to tackle flames on the 371 bus near the Guildhall/Rose Theatre stop in High Street, Kingston, at just after 9am.

Pictures shared on social media showed the back of the double-decker engulfed in bright orange flames.

The driver escaped before crews arrived, London Fire Brigade said.

London Ambulance Service staff were at the scene to treat people for possible smoke inhalation, police said.

Bus blaze
(Hannah Page/PA)

A Metropolitan Police spokesman added: "Local residents have been evacuated as a safety precaution.

"The road remains closed. Motorists are advised to avoid the area."