Neasden residents slam bus route changes
PUBLISHED: 11:53 05 December 2011
Jonathan Goldberg 07958 229 037
New bus has been branded an unfit replacement
Furious Neasden residents are struggling to cope with changes to bus routes and have hit out at Transport for London (TfL) calling for change.
Residents from the St Raphael’s Estate have claimed pensioners are forced to walk across busy roads and children are late for school as a result of the changes, which were implemented this summer.
In September, TfL withdrew the 206 bus that previously travelled into the estate and transferring it to Brent Park to serve shoppers at Tesco in Drury Way.
Angry residents have claimed they are now forced to walk up to 20 minutes to catch the bus and have to cross the busy north circular road in the process.
Brenda Linton, vice chair of the St Raphael’s Estate Tenants Group said the changes were causing problems for both children and pensioners.
She said: “People are struggling to carry heavy shopping from Tesco and Ikea as they cannot afford to pay another bus fare to get back to the estate.”
“Schoolchildren have been late for school and many old people on the estate are really struggling to deal with it.” In protest, Mrs Linton has helped to organise a petition calling for the return of the 206 which has received more than 300 signatures from local residents.
In a further twist, TfL also removed the PR2 service which used to serve Central Middlesex Hospital and replaced it with a 224 service; however residents have also hit out branding it an unfit replacement.
The route now takes passengers through Harlesden towards the Park Royal in a move which has seen many residents late for hospital appointments.
Cllr Jim Moher, Brent council’s lead member for highways and transportation said a public meeting to discuss the issues was held last week where representatives from London busses, Brent Council and St Raphael’s Estate were on hand to discuss the issues.
He added: “We have made strong representations to London busses and raised the concerns of the public, they have now agreed the review their position and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
TfL’s Head of Network Development London Buses, John Barry said:“TfL is aware of the concerns and will continue to monitor the situation as promised. We will be undertaking a full review when the changes have had time to settle in, which is usually after around six months.
“This will take account of the overall package of changes, which was generally welcomed when we consulted prior to going ahead.”
The TfL Customer Services can be contacted on 0845 300 7000 or at www.tfl.gov.uk
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