Empty double-decker buses on the way back to the depot have been whizzing down a West Hampstead street for more than 20 years – much to the ire of residents.
But the West Hampstead Neighbourhood Development Forum (NDF) has decided enough is enough and has formally complained to the bus company whose drivers use Mill Lane to get to and from the depot in Cricklewood.
The buses do not pick up or drop off any passengers when they pass through the street.
Past complaints to both Metroline Buses and Transport for London have proved fruitless for disgruntled residents, who say that the street is too narrow for large buses to regularly use because it has two rows of parked cars on each side.
NDF chairman James Earl hopes to finally get drivers of the No 139 bus route – which terminates at West End Green in West Hampstead – to make their way to the depot via an alternative route, using Fortune Green Road, Finchley Road and Cricklewood Lane.
He has sent Metroline Buses a letter, informing them that the fifth draft of the forum’s neighbourhood plan, which will provide guidance for planners and developers, will call for the company to stop the buses using Mill Lane as a shortcut.
“West Hampstead has a very active community that really care about their area,” says Charlotte Oborne, manager at the West Hampstead branch of lettings agent Edmund Cude. “This is a lovely area to live and it is reassuring that there are groups around who monitor what is best for local residents.”