AS A public service organisation we have a duty of care to all employees and visitors to the crematorium.

A risk assessment carried out in 2008 highlighted that coaches coming on to the forecourt of the building pose a major safety risk to mourners, before and after services. In addition the arrival and departure of coaches disrupts other funeral services taking place, as the noise from the engine, brakes and air conditioning can be heard in the chapels. The diesel fumes also pollute the air. We also took advice from the health and safety officers at the London boroughs of Hounslow and Richmond and they fully supported the action.

The ban applies to all large coaches and any group that 'buses' mourners to the crematorium. A detailed Equality Impact Assessment was also completed in 2008 and this identified that the Asian community was most affected by the ban, however, contrary to the statement in your article that "The crematorium is mainly used by Asians[2026]", during the past 12 months 82.5 per cent of services were for other faiths and beliefs.

All funeral directors in the area were made aware of the decision and in time the coach companies have also been advised. As most coaches come from the Hounslow direction, we suggested that they turn around (in readiness for the return journey) before off-loading passengers, so they did not have to

cross the Hounslow Road; it is my understanding that most drivers follow this advice. The 70-space car park is all-weather. The existing overflow car park that can take up to 50 cars is the area that can become waterlogged, mainly during the winter months.

The planning application for the new car park was originally submitted to Hounslow Council on the January 14, 2007, however this was withdrawn in June 2008 when we were advised that a more detailed application would be required. The new application went to the council on November 18, 2008 and we await their decision. The crematorium board has set aside £100,000 for the construction of the car park and the work will commence as soon as planning consent is granted.


Crematorium manager