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Pollution bus stop outside nursery can’t be moved because of ‘loss of residents parking’

TfL says it shares residents 'frustrations' with Westminster Council

01 April, 2019 — By Tom Foot

The bus stand in Marylebone

A BUS stand outside the entrance to a children’s nursery cannot be moved because the council is protecting resident parking spaces, according to Transport for London.

The Number 2 terminus in Hayes Place, just off Marylebone Road – one of the most polluted roads in the country – has been placed under review following complaints.

TfL said it “shared the frustration” about the bus stop and that the council’s position was disappoint- ing. In a response to for- mer Labour London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi, a TfL official said: “We’ve been in con- tact with Westminster City Council, which maintains Hayes Place, about mov- ing this stand to somewhere more suitable. While there are few alter- native locations, given there’s a large taxi rank nearby for Marylebone station, the council reviewed several nearby streets.

“Sadly its officers declined to accommodate the stand elsewhere due to the resulting loss of residents’ parking. I realise this will be disappointing and I can assure you TfL shares your frustration.

“We require co-opera- tion from local authorities when locating our bus stands on their streets.”

Mr Qureshi suggested the council did not have its priorities right, despite it campaigning on air quality in recent months. West- minster has run a cam- paign with celebrities and sportsmen backing its “Don’t Be Idle” campaign, which urges drivers to switch off their engines when stationary.

TfL’s response said its drivers had been told to switch off their engines when outside the nursery but that diesel emissions continue for two minutes after engines stopped.

Mr Qureshi said: “It moved from Seymour Place to this place but they clearly didn’t think what it was in front of. TfL are telling us Westminster are more worried about losing income from the parking spaces than the bus stop. When we are being told that air pollution is bad for everyone, the last thing to do is put a bus stop outside a nursery. I’m sure with some rejigging, this is not insurmountable. Moving the bus stop is the next campaign.”

Tim Mitchell, the council’s cabinet member for environment and city management, said: “The reality is that wherever the bus stop is it will result in emissions, which is why we’ve been calling for the use of cleaner hybrid buses and are leading the way with our ‘Don’t Be Idle’ campaign to stop engine idling.”

Cllr Mitchell added: “The decision to keep the bus stop at that location was jointly made with TfL after we were unable to find a suitable nearby alternative. That’s why we’ve worked with the nearby nursery to install a ‘green wall’, to absorb emissions and shield it from pollution.”

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