The short answer is we don’t know. It is incredibly frustrating that the bus route changes have been known about for nearly a year and no one at Camden or TfL seems to have planned ahead for what to do with the old 271 bus stand in such a sensitive location in Highgate village. Surely someone could have organised a few planters or benches at least?
For many years the Highgate Society has wanted to remove the bus parking from the centre of the village. However, realistically, this has now happened only because TfL decided it suited their route planning to do so.
What we do know is this:
• we have it on good authority that the area of the bus stand itself is owned by TfL.
• Camden are in touch with TfL to see what TfL’s intentions are for the space. We are chasing. This seems to be the bottleneck.
• Camden don’t have a budget for doing anything major for at least two years, so there has to be a short term solution first.
We think that the adjacent road junction of South Grove and Highgate High Street takes up an unnecessary amount of road space. The size of the junction was required by buses in order they could turn into the 271 bus stand, but that purpose is no longer relevant. The road angles also make the zebra crossing difficult to use for pedestrians and vehicles.
Our own ideas and most of those put to us at last year’s Fair in the Square would involve realigning South Grove so that it joins the High Street further north, passing wholly or partly through the old bus stand. This approach releases a much larger triangular area on the south side outside the Angel, Namaste, Cafe Turquoise and the Highgate Delicatessen.
The future design and use of the old bus stand and South Grove / High Street junction area needs to be subject to a consultation. The views of High Street traders will be important as well as those of residents.
12 February 2023