Clean air campaigners in Kensal Rise reject Brent’s Kensal Corridor Improvement Scheme
PUBLISHED: 18:36 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:17 09 August 2019
Environment campaigners say plans for the Kensal Corridor fail to address bus numbers and soaring pollution in Kensal Rise.
More than 350 neighbours and local businesses have signed a petition rejecting the Kensal Corridor Improvement Scheme (KCIS), which features an extra bus stop in Station Terrace where there are already five bus stands.
The scheme involves public realm improvements including cycle parking, wider pavements, safer pedestrian crossings, and electric charging points for cars, all to reduce congestion in Chamberlayne Road and Kilburn Lane as well as Station Terrace.
But the Kensal Rise Residents' Association (KRRA) says it fails to deliver for their neighbourhood and is calling for Brent to put the allocated space in Station Terrace to community use with a 25-stall farmer's market. Campaigners also say plans to convert an existing small car park into a public space bordered by buses will turn it into a "nitrogen dioxide-laced seating area".
The KRRA is also asking the council and Transport for London (TfL) to reduce pollution by redrawing bus routes and moving turning spaces. The council says TfL has already "committed to provide cleaner buses to the area as part of its plan for London".
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Gilbey Strub, a climate change activist who lives locally, said: "Chamberlayne Road should not be a bypass for Queen's Park ward.
"The council and TfL scheme is a thinly veiled attempt to impose a fully-fledged bus park in the heart of a residential area."
Fiona Mulaisho, KRRA secretary, said: "The latest proposals are supposed to tackle congestion and associated pollution but Brent planners fail to explain how they'll cut traffic volumes along the corridor. This is what local people are crying out for. [...] We call on Brent to work more closely with local residents to find a genuine and long-lasting solution."
Under KCIS proposals, Chamberlayne Road will be narrowed in places and a cycle lane scrapped at the southern end.
KRRA claims this will make the bottleneck worse. Ms Mulaisho added: "Local children are being exposed to illegal levels of pollution as too much traffic forces its way through the Chamberlayne Road Corridor."
Cllr Shama Tatler, the cabinet's regeneration chief said Brent was "reviewing all of the responses" from the consultation, which ended on July 31. But she pointed out: "Bus services help reduce car travel."
TfL has been reached for comment.