Members driven away by bus lane
A COMMUNITY centre has suffered a substantial drop in use due to a lack of parking spaces since a bus lane was introduced outside it two-and-a-half years ago. Naginbhai Mistry, chairman of Dudden Hill Community Centre in Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, fea
A COMMUNITY centre has suffered a substantial drop in use due to a lack of parking spaces since a bus lane was introduced outside it two-and-a-half years ago.
Naginbhai Mistry, chairman of Dudden Hill Community Centre in Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, fears for the future of the building following the changes, which took place in August 2007.
In addition, he has raised concerns that the area could be an accident blackspot for pedestrians because of a lack of zebra crossings.
Mr Mistry claims membership of the centre has plummeted by at least 200 members since the bus lanes came into force.
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He said: "If the membership goes down our grants might go down.
"If that happens I can't understand how long we will last."
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He said although the council had suspended the bus lane on Sundays to try and ease the problem, there needed to be a further suspension on Saturdays as well.
"We have so many elders coming to the centre. Suspending the bus lane on Sundays doesn't help us enough because so many people use the centre on Saturdays too."
Mr Mistry added that the centre was in need of more disabled parking bays, as the one they had been allocated was at least 500 metres away.
And he said he was also worried that an accident would occur before too long because there is no zebra crossing in front of the centre.
"We have people with lollypops stopping the traffic. But there might be an accident if we're not careful about it."
Dudden Hill Cllr Pawan Gupta said he was aware that this was an 'ongoing' issue but referred questions to Brent Council.
A council spokesman said: "The council already carried out a consultation in the past year and reduced the bus lane hours from Monday to Sunday to Monday to Saturday."
"If the community centre wants a further reduction or to suggest a disabled parking bay, they need to make a fresh application."
Krupesh Hirani, local campaigner for Dudden Hill ward, said: "It is difficult to see how parking restrictions can be lifted anywhere in Dudden Hill Lane given that it is a major through route.
"However, Labour would like to see a review of parking restrictions generally, especially in shopping centre areas as we would like to promote local shopping for local people and improve access to community centres.