Kensal Rise residents win battle of the buses

Six-year campaign for quietier public transport is victorious

Sleep-deprived neighbours have won the battle to make noisy buses much quieter.

Since 2005, campaigners who formed Kensal Rise Against Nuisance Noise have been fighting against the unbearable sound produced by the new style buses which replaced the old-fashioned Routemasters.

Neighbours, especially those living in Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, say their lives have been made a misery by the noise which they describe as sounding similar to a “jet engine taking off”.

But following a presentation to Boris Johnson, mayor of London, in February and a visit to Kensal Rise by transport officials, the company which runs the fleet, Metroline, has agreed to spend half a million pounds on modifying the buses, which start their journeys at Willesden Garage.

The noise will be reduced to about 60 decibels as opposed to the current 93 decibels for some of the buses.

Victorious Fiona Mulaisho, 43, of Chamberlayne Road, set up Kensal Rise Against Nuisance Noise and met with the mayor earlier this year.

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The policy adviser said: “We are very pleased with the result. This has been going on for a long, long time but it is great something is finally being done about it.

“The officials came to Kensal Rise and witnessed first hand the noise problem we have been campaigning against since 2005. The noise causes great disturbance and distress to residents of Kensal Rise.

No doubt the noise also affects residents in other areas of London who are living along bus routes.

“It is unacceptable for a body to operate buses which are clearly not fit for purpose, as evidence by the ruination of residents’ peace of mind and sleep.”

Metroline is now investigation making the changes across its entire Volvo fleet in London. Sean O’Shea, chief operating officer at Metroline, said: “I am pleased to be able to confirm this investment which illustrates Metroline’s commitment to working with the local communities where we operate.”

The modifications are expected to start in August.