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Residents in Kensal Rise claim area is overrun with ‘ghost buses’

17:01 02 June 2013

Fiona Mulaisho chair of Kensal Rise Residents Association

Fiona Mulaisho chair of Kensal Rise Residents Association

©carmen klammer

Calls have been made for streets to be cleared of congestion caused by excessive routes

Residents in Kensal Rise have called on transport officials to curb the “excessive” number of buses clogging up their high street and send them to more needy areas.

Members of Kensal Rise Residents’ Association (KRRA) say Chamberlayne Road has become overrun with “ghost buses”, many of which have hardly any passengers but which are causing an unnecessary nuisance to residents, while increasing congestion.

According to figures from Transport for London (TfL), more than 12,000 bus journeys are made through the mile-long road each week from seven separate routes.

Fiona Mulaisho, chair of KRRA, has called on Brent Council and TfL to work together to ease the congestion.

She told the Times: “The buses are causing unnecessary problems for residents, lead to traffic snarl-ups and are often under-used. We are not against buses but there are clearly areas where they are more greatly needed than they are here.”

The concerns outlined by KRRA include shaking properties, a high number of accidents and noise pollution.

Ms Mulaisho also questioned TfL’s method of paying bus operators for the miles they cover rather than basing it on how many passengers are carried.

A spokesman for Brent Council said that although it has no direct control over bus arrangements, it is working alongside KRRA to develop new traffic management arrangements and has made TfL aware of the concerns.

A consultation will be launched on plans to change route 302 from Kensal Rise to Queen’s Park which could result in fewer buses using Chamberlayne Road.

The spokesman added: “The council would not support any action which resulted in reducing any form of public transport provision that might inconvenience existing or future public transport users.”

John Barry, head of network development for London Buses, said: “We have been discussing this with residents. Four bus routes use Chamberlayne Road north of Kensal Rise, carrying nearly 17,500 passengers a day on this section and showing clearly a demand for the service.

“These bus routes represent only about eight per cent of the traffic at peak times.

“We keep the network under regular review and are considering how best to respond to the concerns.”

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