Families’ fury at ‘lack of Crossrail consultation’

Council ‘confusion’ over who should have told who

A fleet of lorries carrying materials for the Crossrail tunnel will hurtle past homes in the borough everyday but Brent residents have never been consulted.

Crossrail submitted its original planning application in 2009 with the lorry routes which includes the North Circular Road and the Harrow Road to access the Royal Oak Construction site in Westminster.

When the Times asked Brent Council why it did not consult with residents, it blamed Westminster Council for not notifying them. But Westminster says it was up to Brent to hold its own consultation.

Avril Mackintosh, of Kensal Triangle Residents’ Association, said: “Is Brent Council seriously telling us that it did not know about one of the biggest engineering projects in Britain in many years?

“We are concerned that these extra large lorries and heavy traffic is going to have a devastating affect on the area.

“The air quality and noise must be considered as the proposals already place extra demands on an already busy road system.”

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Andy Bradfield, also of Kensal Triangle, said: “We keep getting told the Harrow Road route was covered by the Crossrail Act which we haven’t been told about.

“What is even more galling is that when we contact Brent Council it just stonewalls us.

“Besides not being told anything about this and having no say in what goes on, other boroughs have been contacted and have reached out to their residents. For Brent to make excuses about this is utterly shameful.”

Resident Ruth Ward added: “The level of vibration, noise, pollution and congestion is impossible to imagine until it happens. Yet I have not been aware of any consultation.”

Brent residents are calling for the canal to be opened up as a form of transport.

Ms Mackintosh said: “The canal was in the original plans which would mean there wouldn’t be any need to use lorries to transport material here.

“This would provide a far greener solution with less traffic congestion and noise.”

The Lorry Management Plan was approved by Westminster in 2009 which included a route through Brent.

A spokesman for Brent Council said: “Brent Council was not originally consulted by the City of Westminster and therefore could not invite residents to have their say on the matter.

“The approximate maximum number of predicted journeys is 110 per day during peak times which is likely to last three months, but this will decrease to approx. 40-50 a day outside these times.

“Not all of these lorry journeys will be taking the route to and from the site through Brent. Lorries can enter and exit the site along two routes on Harrow Road; one north through Harlesden, to and from the North Circular and the other south, to and from the junction of Harrow Road with Westway (A40).”

However, John Walker, planning spokesman for Westminster Council, said: “We are aware that Crossrail contacted Brent Council to consult them on the proposals. It is then the responsibility of Brent to consult its own residents on the plans.”