HEALTH campaigners hope Boris Johnson will step in to ensure two bus routes are extended to Northwick Park Hospital following the closure of other accident and emergency departments.

The hospital in Watford Road, Harrow, has become the only A&E for Harrow and Brent following the closure of the department at Central Middlesex Hospital in Acton Lane, Park Royal, and locals worried about transport links are pressuring the Conservative Mayor of London to use his influence on London Buses and its parent Transport for London.

Navin Shah, the Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, submitted a written question to Mr Johnson asking him to intervene to lengthen the 204 Sudbury Town Station to Edgware Station and the 395 Harrow Bus Station to Westway Cross Retail Park routes.

Mr Shah told the Observer: “It makes business sense.

“In the future, Ealing Hospital A&E is down to close and Harrow Bus Station has capacity issues.

The A&E at Central Middlesex has closed and links to Northwick Park Hospital coming from the south of Brent are also poor.

“People have to catch connecting buses but there is the extra time needed, the added cost factor and accessibility issues.”

Mr Shah believes London Buses could easily re-commission the 204 and 395 services with a diversion to Northwick Park Hospital (NPH).

Protestors outside Central Middlesex hospital
 

Anthony Wood, chairman of Harrow Public Transport Users' Association, said: “The capacity on the route 182 from Wembley direction to NPH is inadequate and also passengers have to alight opposite the hospital and cross the busy road which is not eazy for those who are disabled or in wheelchairs.

“The 204 comes from the Wembley direction and its extension from Sudbury Town Station to NPH would increase capacity on section to NPH; enable disabled passengers to alight and board at the hospital bus station; provide a direct connection between Sudbury Town Station, which is an accessible station, and the hospital; and with the closure of the A&E and other hospital services at Central Middlesex Hospital patients, staff and visitors who would have gone to there would have a direct method of reaching NPH.”

Mr Wood said of the 395: “With the transfer of the A&E and some other hospital services soon from Ealing Hospital to NPH, residents of that area need a connection to NPH and the extension of the 395 to NPH would provide that direct connection and links to part of the Ealing area, and also help to reduce the congestion at Harrow Bus Station."

Both the 204 and 395 are run by Cricklewood-based Metroline, which has been asked for comment.