Kensal Rise backstreets 'clogged with unused buses' group says

Kensal Rise bus protest

Station Terrace Business Worker (Arthur's Cafe), Suzanne O'Farrell (Resident), Debra Kroll (Resident), Caro Malnuit (Resident and spokesperson for STAG) Station Cafe Owner, Station Terrace. - Credit: Susan Burke

Pollution from buses is making parts of Kensal Rise “extremely unpleasant to live in,” according to residents - who have demanded action. 

Members of pressure outfit Station Terrace Action Group NW10 have said the area is “clogged” with often unused diesel buses.

Group spokesman Caro Malnuit said her son's asthma has worsened since her family moved to the area, which prompted her to take action.

“Currently TfL [Transport for London] is using Dagmar Gardens and Station Terrace, which are small residential roads, as a bus depot," she said. 

“Sometimes we have eight or nine buses parked up. Buses are sometimes left idling and so they are pumping out more diesel fumes.”

She added: "Pollution damage to humans is not halted by promises of cleaner buses in the future. We need action now, which is already well overdue."

The group has claimed levels of pollution have been reached, with Station Terrace a particular concern as it is home to a children's art school and ballet school.

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Caro was joined by other likeminded campaigners on Station Terrace last week to protest.

She added: “The constant noise, pollution, safety concerns, environmental issues, shaking houses and road damage from these huge double decker buses is totally unacceptable.

“The buses coming to Kensal Rise and stopping here are generally nearly empty.”

Cllr Krupa Sheth, cabinet member for environment, said: “As part of our commitment to reaching zero carbon emissions by 2030, it is a priority for the council to facilitate the uptake of low emission vehicles to improve air quality in the borough and reduce the impacts of climate change.

“At the same time we are reviewing our air quality strategy, working closely with local communities to improve air pollution levels for the health and wellbeing of all our residents.”

Tom Cunnington, TfL’s head of bus business development, said: “Buses are a really efficient, green way to get around.

"They carry up to 85 times the number of passengers as a car in just twice the space.

"We’re making buses cleaner and greener too, having brought them all up to strict ULEZ Euro VI emissions standards early last year, and we’re increasing the number of zero-emission buses across London with each month that passes.

“In Kensal Rise buses provide vital links to central London, several transport links and Central Middlesex Hospital - and at an affordable price. We continue to provide a frequent service to help make the bus an attractive alternative to the car.”