Neasden residents win partial victory in bus campaign

St Raphael’s Estate will now be included as part of 224 route

Neasden residents who had vital bus services to and from their estate slashed have secured a partial victory in their campaign but vowed to continue their fight.

The 206 and PR2 buses connecting the estate to neighbouring Harlesden and Central Middlesex Hospital (CMH) were cancelled in September 2011.

In addition, the 224 service which used to transport shoppers from nearby Tesco in Brent Park was also cancelled, leaving residents having to navigate the busy North Circular Road and walk for 20 minutes to return to their homes.

However, under pressure from the Residents’ Association (RA) which launched a petition collecting 300 signatures and enlisted the help of Brent Council, TfL expanded the existing 224 service which now links the estate to the supermarket. Nevertheless, residents say they still don’t have a direct service to take them to and from the estate and must take two buses to get to Harlesden where a lot of children attend school.

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Residents claim they have also missed vital appointments at CMH, as a result of the changes.

Brenda Linton, chairman of the St Raphael’s Estate RA told the Times their fight would continue.

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She said: “You may say that this is better than nothing, but a lot of people stopped going out when the bus service was cut. I think TfL did not think of the elderly and the children when they made this decision. There is a lot of crime on the estate and people are afraid of walking after dark.”

Ms Linton added that, many residents cannot afford to pay for two bus rides which were previously covered by one service. She added: “We will continue to campaign for the return of the 206.”

Cllr Jim Moher, lead member for highways and transportation at Brent Council, said: “Local people felt stranded after the change in routes.

“I know this does not fully meet the aspirations of residents but I am pleased to say that we have achieved an improvement.”

TfL has said it will continue to monitor the situation and that the route will be up for review in six months.

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