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New proposals to move 168 bus stand in South End Green

20 November, 2020 — By Harry Taylor

The 168 bus stand

PROPOSALS to ­per­man­ently relocate the 168 bus stand in South End Green could be published early next year amid a campaign to close a slipway.

Supporters think permanently closing the road could turn it into the new “heart of the village”, creating a link between the parade of shops and restaurants to the disused fountain.

The slipway was temporarily shut to bus traffic this summer to allow for outside seating and an al fresco-dining “streatery”.

At the time the bus stand was moved to Fleet Road, which proved unpopular with neighbours and the owner of Giacobazzi’s deli, where buses were parked outside. Buses have since returned to the slipway, sparking new complaints about a queue at the stand.

Jamie Knowles, who was one of the team behind the area’s streatery, said: “This is a problem that’s been coming up for years. You’re also now seeing buses waiting at the bus stop outside the Royal Free’s A&E, as there’s not space in the slipway. It’s dangerous for pedestrians and drivers.”

He added: “The community would get a lot more out of the area if the slipway was closed. It would be like having a heart to the village. It is as much a safety improve­ment as it is a social improvement.”

A council spokesperson said plans could be published in early 2021, and that currently there was no way of closing the slip road without impacting Fleet Road. They said: “This assessment is expected to be completed by early next year with a view to consulting on the proposals shortly after, subject to the outcome of this assessment and funding being secured.”

Councillor Oliver Cooper said: “Finding a permanent home for the bus stand provides a golden opportunity to transform South End Green for the better. The streatery was a great success in saving local businesses, and it is essential it be relaunched next year with the 168 bus in a more suitable permanent home.  Moving the bus stand to the nearby terminus would allow a renaissance of South End Green, and it should be a top priority.”

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