Commuters in Peckham have been left fuming as eleven buses are diverted from Rye Lane during major gas works planned until January 2020.
The one million pound upgrade of SGN’s gas mains network started this Monday.
For the next thirteen months Rye Lane will be closed to all vehicles and cyclists except for deliveries, but open to pedestrians.
In that time, bus routes 12,37, 63, 78, 197, 343, 363, N63, N343, P12 and P13 will be diverted.
Commuters have slammed TfL for not planning any temporary stops nearby, lumping them with an extra ten to fifteen minute walk to catch a bus, with one resident tweeting TfL saying: “I would like an explanation please.
“The whole Rye Lane is closed for traffic, for a year and the buses are diverted of course.
“Why do we have to walk ten, fifteen minutes to get the bus?
“Why is there no additional bus stop in Copeland Road? Why can’t things be done properly?”
TfL updated its website last Friday and tweeted about the disruption to the service on Monday, but residents who regularly use the same stop have complained they had seen no signs advertising the planned work beforehand.
TfL says it is looking into where temporary stops can be safely placed, but finding suitable roads without increasing congestion has proved tricky.
All businesses on the road will stay open throughout the maintenance work, but there are fears trading will also be severely affected by the disruption, especially given they can only claim compensation from SGN after work has finished.
SGN says it will consider compensation claims from ‘small businesses who suffer a genuine loss of profit’.
Business owners believe lifting parking charges on Choumert Road and temporary bus stops nearer Rye Lane could help footfall. They also want to petition the government to reduce business rates for the affected area.
A spokesperson for Copeland Park and Bussey Building told the News this week: “We recognise the gas works need to take place as a long-term solution, but we are concerned about the impact of loss of footfall on Rye Lane businesses, including Khan’s Bargains and Holdrons Arcade.
“Meanwhile traffic will tail back on Copeland Road; affecting deliveries to the small businesses, restaurants and bars in Copeland Park.”
“With work set to take thirteen months, we want to see support to help all traders.
“We do remind people that Rye Lane is open for business.”
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