TRANSPORT chiefs did not do enough to relieve traffic congestion caused by the Vaisakhi Parade in Southall on Sunday, says a pressure group.
The annual parade had a record turnout this year, with an estimated 100,000 people attending to help celebrate the Sikh and Hindu New Year.
But the huge crowds resulted in major delays on the roads in west London, with reports of motorists stuck in traffic and people stranded at Heathrow Airport waiting for a bus for long periods. John Beeston, the chairman of Ealing Passenger Transport User Group, said the issue was not with the parade itself, but with the lack of action by London Buses.
He said: "The parade is an annual event in Southall, which means that London Buses was obviously aware of it.
"But there was no advance publicity or warning, which meant that many people endured traffic misery.
"I have heard reports of people being stuck in Hounslow waiting an hour for a bus, as well as people left stranded at Heathrow Airport.
"This is simply unacceptable. The group has made a formal complaint to Transport for London and we are considering taking the matter further."
A spokesman for Transport for London said: "TfL works closely with the police, event organisers and local authorities to ensure that bus services can still operate during events where road closures are in place, such as the celebration of Vaisakhi in Southall.
"Buses in the area were on planned diversion during the day and were also subject to some additional delays due to heavy traffic.
"This impacted on services on the whole route and was unavoidable."