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Residents anger over Hampstead roads plan

PUBLISHED: 16:17 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:43 07 September 2010

RESIDENTS have accused Camden Council of rushing through consultations on plans to redesign Hampstead's roads before Christmas, in the hope that people will be too busy to notice. In order to beat congestion and speed up the route for the 268 bus, plans h

RESIDENTS have accused Camden Council of rushing through consultations on plans to redesign Hampstead's roads before Christmas, in the hope that people will be too busy to notice.

In order to beat congestion and speed up the route for the 268 bus, plans have been drawn up for Fitzjohn's Avenue, Hampstead High Street and Buckland Crescent.

But many people are opposed to the idea, saying the plans are disproportionate to the problem and want more time to make comments.

"A rushed consultation over Christmas is scandalous," said Farokh Khorooshi, chairman of the Fitzjohn's residents' association.

A large redesign of the centre of Fitzjohn's Avenue is on the cards, as well as changes to Buckland Crescent, Belsize Avenue and College Crescent. And in the high street, drivers will be banned from taking a right turn towards the street from Green Hill, forcing them down Prince Arthur Road.

New pavements will also be built to make it clear which way cars can go.

"On Green Hill, if someone is being rushed to the Royal Free and residents are only allowed to turn left, it will take them three times longer to get there and I don't think that's sensible," said Mr Khorooshi.

"A lorry load of concrete is going to be dropped in Hampstead for this crackpot idea."

The plans will also include the removal of speed humps on Belsize Avenue, replacing them with ones buses can pass over more easily.

Mr Khorooshi added: "They only put in the speed humps two years ago. If they made a mistake and put in the wrong ones then, what qualifies them to get it right now?"

Consultation on the schemes closes on Monday (December 22), with funding coming from TfL.

A council spokeswoman said: "Working with Transport for London, council staff identified several operational problems with the 268 bus route. The proposed changes are to make the areas safer, to make bus journeys run more smoothly for passengers and fulfil our legal requirement to ensure bus stops comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

"The council always gives residents a chance to have their say on the issues that affect them. The consultation on the 268 bus route began on November 23 and will run for four weeks until 23 December, in line with our consultation policy.

"Since November 23 we have received 113 responses, which is an average response to this type of consultation. The council will carefully review the feasibility of the scheme when the consultation is complete as well as carefully considering the feedback we have received from residents so far.


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