Residents' fury at bus depot planning decision
Residents of North Acton Road, NW10 were shocked this weekend by yet another death on a treacherous stretch of road. They told us about their fears that their roads will become even more dangerous after Ealing Council recently granted permission to build a bus depot only metres from where Rose Cleary (aged 72) was knocked down and killed.
Mrs Cleary was crossing the road outside her house on North Acton Road at about 8.30am on Saturday 17th November. She was on her way to get her paper from the shop opposite. A man from Hendon was arrested and has been released on bail until February pending further enquiries.
Rose Cleary's death comes only three weeks after 5-year-old Rachel Popoola was knocked down by a hit and run driver on the crossing at the junction with Wesley Avenue 100 metres further along North Acton Road. Rachel was on her way to play in the children’s playground in the park just across the road from her house in North Acton Road.
Three years ago, almost to the day, Maria Kishak (42) was killed by a hit and run driver on the same crossing.
Residents say traffic along Chase Road and North Acton Road is extremely heavy as the roads are used by drivers accessing warehouses and businesses on The Park Royal Industrial Estate. The two roads are also being used as a rat run by drivers cutting through between the A40 and A406.
Travel London Ltd now proposes to make things worse by siting a Bus Depot in Cunard Road with the only access from North Acton Road and Chase Road. The depot will house 36 single and double decker buses for routes C1 (which operates between Shepherd’s Bush Green and Victoria Station) and 452 (which operates between Kensal Rise Station and Wandsworth Road Station). Neither bus will stop anywhere in, or improve transport for the residents of Acton who have recently called for better links between Acton's stations.
Opposition to the depot by the residents of the Wesley Estate was based solely on the belief that a Bus depot in Cunard Road would increase the traffic along two already highly dangerous roads. The Wesley Estate Residents Association presented a petition, containing approximately 270 names to the Ealing Council Planning Committee only 10 days ago. The planning application was passed (by 6 votes to 3, with 1 abstention) because the site is located within an area of B2/B8 usage and as such the planning committee could not refuse permission. In their application Travel London Ltd. stated that the proximity of residential dwellings was not considered relevant.
The junction of Cunard Road/Chase Road where the bus depot will be sited is a mere 100 metres from where Mrs. Cleary was killed on Saturday morning.
Estella O'Brien, acting secretary of the Wesley Estate Tenants and Residents Association told us: "The Wesley Estate is a small residential community built approximately 80 years ago. Many of our residents can remember times when we were surrounded by fields. They talk of a thriving community served by local primary and secondary schools, a community centre, allotments and a park.
"Only the park is left, and since this is on the other side of North Acton Road many parents are too afraid to let their children cross the road to use it. As we became surrounded by the largest industrial estate in Europe, even residential dwellings, such as the Lower Place Housing Estate were demolished in favour of businesses.
"The real crime in all this is that successive councils have failed to implement the necessary precautions to protect this residential enclave, from increasingly unsuitable industrial investments and their resulting traffic levels.
"Residents are dismayed that the attitude of some members of Ealing Council, past and present, continues to be "You chose to live in an industrial estate, so put up with it.""
Residents say Mrs Cleary’s death confirms what they have known for many years that North Acton Road is a dangerous black-spot for those living in the Wesley Estate. Ms O'Brien continues: "We want Ealing Council to know we are no longer willing to put up with it. We want extensive road calming measures implemented before another member of our community is killed or injured."
Councillor Vlod Barchuk, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "We will
be meeting with the police to discuss in detail the latest accidents in
North Acton Road and identify measures to address the safety and
The Council is currently undertaking a feasibility study to identify
measures to address road safety issues and speeding problems in North
Acton Road. The study would mainly investigate the high rate of
accidents, high vehicle speeds, poor sightlines at junctions due to
parking, failure to give way accidents, poor driver awareness and
observance of zebra crossing and put forward appropriate proposals
including speed reduction measures.
November 21, 2007