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Muswell Hill pensioner ‘left trapped’ by ‘fail and no ride’ bus service

16:25 22 August 2012

Patricia Okwara and Cllr Martin Newton on Coppetts Road.

Patricia Okwara and Cllr Martin Newton on Coppetts Road.

Archant

A Muswell Hill pensioner says she has been left trapped in her home because her local ‘hail and ride’ bus service will not stop near her home anymore.

Patricia Okwara, who struggles to walk after a broken ankle left her with metal pins in her leg, “burst out crying” after she was informed that the 234’s ‘hail and ride’ section would no longer be stopping to pick her up from the part of Coppetts Road closest to her home.

The 76-year-old, along with other pensioners and disabled people living in the area, is now forced to struggle further down Coppetts Road or to Trott Road before bus drivers will pick them up.

Ms Okwara now hopes Haringey Council will move her to a new home where she will be able to access public transport more easily.

She said: “I cannot walk this distance. There is no bus stop for us. It is very important to me.”

Fortis Green councillor Martin Newton, who has taken up the case of Gilson Place and Coppetts Road residents, added: “It is not acceptable for older residents like Patricia to have to struggle to get to a place where the bus likes to stop. There is no reason why they should not stop or drop off where residents ask.

“This is meant to be ‘hail and ride’, yet residents are getting a service that is ‘fail and no ride’.

“The lack of accessibility for older and mobility-impaired residents means that Transport for London (TfL) is failing residents with this inconsiderate service.

“The council has identified places where the 234 bus can stop, yet TfL have not responded on when they will take action.”

Len Ray, London Buses area manager for Enfield and Haringey, said he was aware of the problems and the company was in discussions to install fixed bus stops along the route to alleviate the issue.

He added: “While we appreciate this may be frustrating for local residents, our bus drivers must only set down and pick up passengers where it is safe to do so.”

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