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Temporary 168 bus stand in South End Green could cause serious accident, says deli owner

PUBLISHED: 10:41 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:03 02 September 2020

Traffic overtaking a stationary 168 bus in Fleet Road. Picture: Harry Taylor

Traffic overtaking a stationary 168 bus in Fleet Road. Picture: Harry Taylor

Harry Taylor

The temporary relocation of a bus stand due to the South End Green ‘streatery’ has left a bitter taste in the mouth for a Fleet Road deli, with its owner saying it could lead to a serious car accident or drivers fighting.

THe South End Green slip road. Picture: Harry TaylorTHe South End Green slip road. Picture: Harry Taylor

Renata Giacobazzi, who has run Giacobazzi’s for nearly 30 years, said the sound of horns and shouting has become commonplace since the 168 bus stand was moved from the slipway in South End Green to outside her shop.

Traffic jams outside the Royal Free’s recreation club and the deli are now a regular sight, and Ms Giacobazzi said she has witnessed angry stand-offs between stuck drivers.

The decision was taken by Camden Council, when it was discovered the bus stand could not be moved to the cobbled bus terminus near South End Close. Delayed roadworks have meant that the area is not wide enough.

Ms Giacobazzi said: “It’s got people shouting and beeping all day and people getting upset and swearing. [The council] need to look again. It will cause a serious accident soon. People will start fighting in the road or there will be a serious accident.”

Giacobazzi’s and a bus opposite, in Fleet Road. Picture: Harry TaylorGiacobazzi’s and a bus opposite, in Fleet Road. Picture: Harry Taylor

The 55-year-old said her business has not suffered because of the move, and she supports the streatery.

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But she said: “I’m very upset. There was no consultation due to Covid, I don’t know if anyone even came to have a look. If they came, they would have realised.”

READ MORE: South End Green streatery: Outdoor dining zone on the edge of Hampstead Heath set to open, but slip-road won’t be closed yet

168 buses in Flaeet Road. Picture: Harry Taylor168 buses in Flaeet Road. Picture: Harry Taylor

READ MORE: South End Green streatery opens amid calls for pedestrianised slip road

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “We are undertaking further assessment to see if buses and other large vehicles can turn safely from Pond Street into South End Green before deciding if the slip road can be fully closed.”

They said residents concerned about the change can email safetravel@camden.gov.uk.

Hampstead Town councillor Oliver Cooper said: “Camden neither doing the roadworks nor implementing the temporary measures properly has unnecessarily pitched neighbours against neighbours. It is possible to take the bus stands off Fleet Road and allow the sliproad to be opened into a piazza, which would revolutionise South End Green - Camden just needs to do it.

“Bus drivers on Fleet Road have continually said that the failure to enforce the parking suspensions on the other side of the road and the painting of the bay so it’s too slightly tight for a second bus have created a bottleneck.”


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