Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Residents voice differing opinions over Acton Green's 94 bus terminus

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Despite the rain, residents packed into Southfield Ward Focus meeting on Tuesday 16th February where top of the agenda was the Council's proposals to move the 94 Bus stand from it's current site opposite Acton Green Common.

A resident who lives very close to the terminus said, "Differing views were expressed at the meeting but the overall sentiment by the majority of people who took the floor was sheer exasperation with both the bus operator Transdev and TFL at the barbaric treatment they impose on residents 24/7."

He added, "People who maintain the view that things should stay exactly as they are going forward, either do not live in close proximity to the site or don't want to walk the extra 20m to the current 440 stop already used for alighting from the 94."

Another resident present at the meeting said, "Many people were under the impression that the closure of the bus stand was a 'done' deal. It was felt that Ealing council should pressure TfL and the bus company to reduce noise to the minimum and monitor the behaviour of their drivers especially at night. He added, "The majority of speakers who did not live overlooking the bus stand wanted at least for the route to be maintained."

The divide between though who live close by and those who use the terminus for commuting is clear.

"Implying that noise reduction rather than re-siting may be appropriate would have been fine if it had been written five years ago, unfortunately in that time, constant efforts to achieve this by residents and Ealing council have met with derision and contempt at every turn, which is way the council leader and cabinet made the decision to remove the stand on Tuesday 26th of January," explained a resident who has been campaigning for changes at the site for the past six years.

"As for the alternative sites, it is my view that the correct people to examine these are transport officers, from Ealing and Hounslow in conjunction with the bus operators and TfL." He added, "Endless speculation about why other sites may NOT be viable by others does not support the new spirit of cooperation between the parties involved."

A resident of Chiswick Green Studios told, "Since the removal of Routemaster Buses and the 94 becoming a 24 hour service, the terminus at Acton Green has become wholly inadequate for the frequency of the buses which have also significantly increased in size and number of buses that congregate there at any one time, often more than five."

He continued, "This causes congestion on Acton Lane / Evershed Walk, significant exhaust and noise pollution to the residents adjacent to the bus stand and in the height of summer means residents cannot leave their windows open to enjoy fresh air and quiet as a result. A number of the less thought full drivers leave their engines on while stationary (in contravention to TFL instructions posted at the stand) and a small minority of the drivers also feel it is perfectly acceptable to urinate on the pavement in the evening, instead of using the newly refurbished toilet facilities 50 yards away at the entrance to Acton Green! The bus company seem unwilling / unable to tackle this problem in a satisfactory way in terms of driver discipline.

"The residents of Fairlawn Court, Chiswick Green Studios and Clement Court have become fed up with this disruption, and have asked TFL and Ealing council to endeavour to find an alternative solution to this unsatisfactory situation. It is not however the intention of residents around the stand to allow TFL to cut the route short. This is not a case of nimbeyism. The present situation at the terminus, as it is currently is just no longer tenable."

This view was echoed by Leader of Ealing Council Jason Stacey who said, “The Council has no policy to disrupt the 94 bus service but it is seeking to find an alternative terminus to the current one at Acton Green or at the very least put in place measures to significantly improve the situation there. The growth of the 94 bus service in recent years has significantly changed the number of buses seeking to use this small turnaround area and it is causing distress to residents in the immediate vicinity.

“Finding an alternative terminus is not as easy as it sounds as clearly you want to put in place something different without affecting the integrity of the route which is popular with residents. We have asked officers to report back to Cabinet in six months time on the matter and I am pleased to say that TfL are now being much more pro-active in their discussions with the council.”

The next steps will begin with a thorough investigation into alternative sites for the relocation of the 94 terminus, that will not impact the quality of the service. In the meantime the position will remain the same at Acton Green, with the proviso that the bus company operates the terminus in the way that was agreed with Mouchel Parkman back when the modifications took place in 2004.

The minutes of Ealing Council’s Cabinet meeting on 26th January can be found here.


February 23, 2010