A BUS serving three Abingdon schools was 'partially destroyed' after it caught fire on a roundabout with children on board. 

Students and a driver were evacuated from a burning school bus at Crowmarsh Roundabout just before 5pm yesterday, and firefighters spent several hours making the scene safe.

The Joint Bus Service, a collaborative transport scheme serving Abingdon School, St Helen & St Katharine and Manor Preparatory School, was travelling from Abingdon to Shiplake.

Paul Smith, a spokesman for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said firefighters were called out at 4.50pm to a bus fire on the A4074.

He said the bus was 'partially destroyed by fire' and crews stayed to tackle the blaze until 7.25pm.

It is not clear how many students were on board or how old they were, but it is thought everyone on board escaped safely.

The Manor Prep School has since clarified none of its pupils were on board. 

A statement posted on the Joint Bus Service website yesterday said: "We can confirm that there has been a bus fire at the Crowmarsh Gifford roundabout this evening on the 4.20pm Joint Bus Service to Shiplake.

"All students and the driver have been safely evacuated from the bus and arrangements are in place to make their onward journey safely.

"Parents have been notified [and] the emergency services are on scene.

"We are grateful for the prompt response from the emergency services.

"We appreciate that this has caused some traffic delays and we thank everyone for your patience and understanding."