TfL rejects Golders Green-Stamford Hill bus

By Robyn Rosen, May 21, 2010

A bridge-building exercise with the Orthodox community by Transport for London officials has been dismissed as a "sham" after suggestions for enhancements in services were rejected.

During a meeting in February called by TfL to improve relations and discuss transport issues, TfL officers pledged to "get discussion going" on a range of issues.

These included relaxing parking restrictions on Shabbat and High Holy-Days, introducing public buses for Jewish school pupils and extending the 210 Brent Cross-Finsbury Park bus route to Stamford Hill.

But in a letter sent to those who attended the meeting, TfL maintained that many of the issues were too "challenging".

TfL director of news Stuart Ross wrote that dedicated faith school transport would be "difficult to justify financially".

TFL says extending the 210 route is too costly

He added that an extension of the 210 route would cost more than £900,000 per year and that introducing a new route would be a "more expensive option".

As for removing parking restrictions on Shabbat and festivals, this would "undermine the objectives" of TfL to manage roads, could hinder traffic flow and would set a precedent, prompting similar requests from other religious communities and organisations.

Edgware Lubavitch rabbi Leivi Sudak complained that the TfL response "seems a complete contrast to the original spirit that was shared when the meeting was called. It was supposed to be about working together with the community. But coming back with these pathetic responses - the meeting was a sham.

"I'm really upset about their quasi-excuse for not bringing the 210 around to Stamford Hill. It's not a fair answer and it is an answer just to push people aside and say 'don't be a nuisance' - and that is hurtful."

Last updated: 12:49pm, May 21 2010