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Highgate bus stop: Mums’ pleas for safety changes before ‘a child is killed’

PUBLISHED: 17:47 24 January 2012

Highgate residents protest at the 271 stand in South Grove Highgate

Highgate residents protest at the 271 stand in South Grove Highgate

Archant

Concerned Highgate mothers have urged transport chiefs to move a bus stop before “a child is killed”.

Families gathered at the loathed 271 bus terminus in South Grove, in Highgate Village, to protest at the “unsightly” stop which they say blights their area and creates a hazard for young children walking to school.

Liz Morris, a mother of two girls aged seven and nine who lives in Southwood Lane, Highgate, said: “I walk my two daughters to school at Channing in the morning and daren’t walk on the side by the bus stand because it is dangerous. Many parents are forced to walk on the other side of the road.

“There must be thousands of children who go to school in our small village, yet we have this huge danger in the middle of the village

“It will take the death of someone for it to be moved

“We are just asking Transport for London (TfL) to be sensible and move the stop because it could so easily be my daughter or the daughter of one of my friends who gets hurt.”

Residents have long campaigned for the bus stand to be moved, but so far TfL have refused.

Parents launched the demonstration to heap pressure on TfL officials ahead of a planned meeting next week to discuss local transport problems, and have launched a petition demanding the terminus is moved.

Alicia Pavaro, a mother whose two children aged 11 and six go to St Michael’s Primary School in North Road, Highgate, said: “Having this bus stand in the middle of the village blights the area, and it isn’t safe.

“The zebra crossing doesn’t span the whole crossing. It is only a matter of time before there is an accident.”

Richard Webber, transport spokesman for the Highgate Society, said the terminus’s location was a historical accident.

“The reason the bus stop is there is because that is where the trams went in the 19th century, and they stopped there because that was the edge of London,” he said.

“It is dangerous because people have to walk out in front of the buses. And it is a nuisance that you have all these buses parked in what should be a beautiful part of the village.”

Beverley Hall, TfL head of surface transport said: “We have investigated several ideas for improved bus services in the area and looked into the possibility of relocating the bus stand.

“Unfortunately none of the proposed changes or alternative locations could be implemented without significant additional cost or disruption to passengers.

“We would welcome any further suggestions from residents.”

A meeting to review the Highgate bus network is being held in Dyne House, Highgate School, Southwood Lane, Highgate on Thursday February 2 at 7.30pm.

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