Transport for London (TfL) has apologised to residents demanding the 170 bus route serving Battersea be restored after it "disappeared".

People took to social media after the service suddenly stopped serving Lombard Road, Vicarage Crescent and Battersea Church Road before Christmas.

It has emerged that new buses introduced on the route were deemed too large for the railway bridge in Lombard Road, meaning a temporary diversion had to be put in place.

Rob Larsen, who commented on a campaign to bring it back, said: “[It is] absolutely ridiculous that this service has been withdrawn without notice. There are already limited services in this part of London.

“Further reductions is extremely hard on the community.”

Fiona Kelk also said: “Outrageous! What about elderly and children who rely on this local service, the alternative route and stops are no substitute.”

Sylvia Khamnei added: “We really need this bus to be reinstated, it is affecting our transport immensely.

“[We] cannot manage without it for much longer.”

The ‘Bring back the 170 bus route in Battersea’ petition has received 639 signatures since it started on January 9.

Now Wandsworth Council has stepped in to remedy a solution to the issue.

Councillor Jonathan Cook, the council's spokesman for transport, said: "It is a farcical situation that has been exacerbated by TfL’s reluctance to come clean and admit they made a mistake.

“It seems obvious that nobody bothered to double check if their new fleet of buses would actually fit underneath the bridge.

“And instead of telling anyone they simply withdrew the 170 from this part of Battersea leaving residents there with absolutely no bus service at all.

"The only reason we found out was because local people contacted us to ask what had happened to their local buses. 

"And when we contacted TfL they tried to muddy the waters by suggesting the bridge must have been lowered – but it hasn’t changed since the Victorians built it.

"It’s as tall now as it was then and the height restriction on it has been the same since at least 2008.

"Obviously this is not an acceptable situation so our engineers will be working with TfL to try and find a solution so that local people can have their buses back.”

TfL bus operations manager David Reid said: “We apologise unreservedly to customers for the disruption caused by the temporary diversion on route 170 and for the lack of notice given to customers.

“Due to the height restrictions in place in relation to the low bridge on Lombard Road, we are working with Wandsworth Council to obtain dispensation to operate all new Euro 6 buses along this route.

“We are sorry that this has meant that the service is on temporary diversion while this is obtained. We are working with Go Ahead, who operate the route, to allow the diversion to be removed within the next week.”

The transport authority has added it used signs at bus stops, the electronic countdown board across the bus network, as well as its journey planner service, to communicate the changes.

Lombard Bridge has a 10ft height restriction.