Local Councillors Aphra Brandreth and Gemma Curran met with TfL representatives this morning (29th May 2019) to discuss the changes to the bus route which are inconveniencing residents since they were implemented on 18th May.
It was an incredibly productive meeting at which it was acknowledged that the communication on these changes, as well as updates on the bridge, had been far from ideal from both TfL and Hammersmith & Fulham Council. "All residents recognise that the closure of Hammersmith Bridge is going to be a huge inconvenience, but we also appreciate it has been done for significant safety reasons" said Aphra, "however if TfL had reached out initially we could have given immediate feedback explaining the implications for our residents and communication to users would have been transparent".
All bus routes were discussed in depth and Gemma Curran pushed for the 209 bus route to be reinstated "or, at the very least, for more buses to be routed through Barnes High Street up to Church Road, and on to Hammersmith Bridge and back. We need to help people get to shops, doctors, schools and after-school clubs, as well as their daily commute. The 209 is a critical route for so many parents, commuters, the elderly and it's an important route for our businesses too. Having this route detour away before Barnes Pond, inconveniences so many."
Overall, the discussion was positive. TfL have confirmed they will be doing bus surveys over the coming weeks and have received over 300 responses to the consultation. They asked local councillors to encourage residents to keep communicating thoughts, frustrations and comments on the new routes as they worked to make these more efficient. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
In happier news we also asked TfL to inform bus drivers that the borough of Richmond were now issuing PCN's for engine idling, in an effort to urge them to switch off engines whilst waiting. TfL have assured us they will do this, however they also confirmed that from 17th August all 209 vehicles will be hybrid buses. So we hope that not only will we have a more efficient bus service coming back but also a much cleaner one!