BUS journeys to Harrow town centre are to improve after Station Road reopened as two-way road for public transport at the weekend.
Services began to use the street westbound from the junction of Sheepcote Road for the first time in 40 years on Saturday (Mar 26), following months of delayed roadworks that shop and restaurant owners have claimed has hit their trade.
Buses had meanwhile been diverted via Greenhill Way and all services using that route were due to swap to College Road permanently but passengers are claiming a victory in their lobbying efforts.
Anthony Wood, chairman of Harrow Public Transport Users' Association, said: “There were three things we were asking for. One, we wanted the 182 to remain on Greenhill Way and we have won that battle. Secondly, we wanted the H9 and H10 to use Gayton Road and we have won that battle, meaning these buses will start to serve Harrow High School.
“The third, which we have not won, is for the 114 and 183 to run two-way through the Debenhams area of Station Road because if you introduce two-way roads, it's daft to have two routes doing something different.
“They're the ones coming in to the town centre from Kenton and London Buses feels there's a demand for them to serve Gayton Road, which we disagree with as it's a residential area and the H9 and H10 will be serving this area anyway from now on.”
The Station Road improvements were carried out by Harrow Council using largely TfL money and Councillor Phillip O’Dell (Labour), the council's portfolio holder for environment and community safety, said: “It will now be easier for residents and visitors from outside the borough to come to the town centre by public transport. We have worked hard to keep disruption to a minimum and provided regular updates as the project moved forward.”
The project was scheduled to finish in December but was extended into the New Year because, firstly, additional funding was provided by Transport for London for extra improvements and then contractors experienced delays in the supply of materials, and unforeseen utility works.
Taner Izzit, owner of Café Express in Station Road, said: “We're waiting for a boost in custom but it still ruined a year and a half of my trade. The council promised compensation.”
The statue of skipping Katie is set to return to Station Road in early May, the council said.