Bigger buses will make this route doubly deadly
DANGER fears have been sparked by the announcement that double-decker buses will be thundering along the narrow roads linking Golders Green, Hampstead and Highgate
DANGER fears have been sparked by the announcement that double-decker buses will be thundering along the narrow roads linking Golders Green, Hampstead and Highgate.
Plans have been approved to replace smaller buses on the 210 route which runs up North End Road and along Spaniard's Road.
Numerous road accidents have occurred in the area and three years ago a rail replacement double-decker bus killed 61-year-old Bent Herjing on North End Road after it swerved onto the pavement. Thirty others were injured, including Mr Herjing's 10-year-old son.
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But despite fears that more accidents will happen, officers at Barnet Council have given the transport scheme the go-ahead without consulting councillors.
"I think the route is highly inappropriate for double-decker buses," said North End Road resident Derek Coltman.
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"The council says the road is suitable but we've already had problems with double-decker buses here.
"The road is particularly narrow and the bottle neck at the Spaniard's would be very unsafe to pass through. I am certainly against this."
The new service will start on February 16.
Childs Hill councillor Susette Palmer is one of the many local representatives angry she was not able to vote on the scheme.
"I am absolutely livid about this. The road is totally unsuitable for double-decker buses," she said.
"It is very narrow and there is only just room for a single-decker bus to pass through.
"This service is used by many elderly people and the layout inside the double-decker buses makes it very difficult. Not only are the seats arranged in fours, but the back seats are raised, so there are fewer accessible seats than on the single-deckers.
"If there is not enough capacity then there should be more regular smaller buses.
"It was only a few years ago that there was a fatal accident involving a double-decker bus on this road. It is a silly, dangerous and inconvenient idea."
Transport for London said a review was carried out of the 210 bus route and double-deckers were deemed necessary in order to meet increasing passenger numbers.
A spokesperson for Barnet council said: "The changes are responding to overcrowding on Metroline buses. While the changes mean there will be fewer buses using the route there will be more seats available overall."