Bus lane chaos: for Harrods - and Christmas

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BUS LANE CHAOS: FOR HARRODS - AND CHRISTMAS A controversial plan to introduce a bus lane, reducing traffic to just one lane on one of the busiest roads into central London, has been given the go-ahead by Transport for London's Street Management. The bus lane along Brompton Road, opposite Harrods, will come into force next Monday (11th November) and this week-end workmen will begin installing and painting the new restriction signs. "This will undoubtedly cause massive traffic chaos for hundreds of thousands of commuters, motorists and shoppers alike during one of the busiest times of the year - the traditional Christmas shopping and New Year sales period," claimed Harrods Director of Public Affairs, Christopher Morris. "The introduction of the bus lane is arbitrary, has been taken without proper consultation among the residents and retailers of Knightsbridge, and cannot be challenged in court." The new bus lane extends from just past the Victoria and Albert Museum at the Brompton Oratory, along the main Knightsbridge shopping district to Scotch House corner and will operate for 12 hours throughout both daily rush hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays. Traffic heading towards London along the M4 is already heavily congested, often with long tailbacks as a result of the bus lane from Heathrow Airport. "This new bus lane will simply add to the disruption, frustration and anger of motorists trying to get to work on time or those coming to Knightsbridge for their Christmas shopping," added Mr. Morris. "The inevitable result will be more traffic congestion, delivery chaos for local businesses, longer journey times for Knightsbridge residents and loss of revenue from car travelling customers put off from visiting Knightsbridge." Transport for London's Street Management team led by Steve Cotton had crisis talks with Harrods officials and the London Chamber of Commerce at the store last week but the decision to impose the bus lane has quashed hopes of a compromise not to enforce the restrictions until after the January sales. TFL's Street Management says it carried out a consultation exercise delivering nearly 1,000 letters. But Harrods own survey shows that more than 80 per cent of residents did not receive the official notification about the bus lane, while almost 90 per cent of those businesses, including Harrods, who also did not receive the letter were disappointed by the lack of communication. Street Management also claims the bus lane extension will not cause traffic congestion or disruption to deliveries. They acknowledge that Christmas and the New Year are the busiest times of the year for Harrods, but point out that increased commercial activity during this period is also likely to result in increased delays and, in particular, reduced reliability of bus services....and that it is important buses are protected. Building work along the Brompton Road bus lane route, and the alteration of traffic light phasing at Scotch House corner with construction of new safety measures now under way are already causing big traffic jams along this main artery into central London. For further information please contact Christopher Morris on 020 7225 8500. 5th November 2002 ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net The following files are available for download: http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/11/05/20021105BIT00320/wkr0001.doc http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/11/05/20021105BIT00320/wkr0002.pdf