A LONG called-for bus serving an isolated housing estate is nearer than ever to becoming a reality, according to a councillor. Campaigners have been asking for a bus to serve the Tollers Estate, in Old Coulsdon, for several years, particularly for its elderly and disabled residents. Transport for London (TfL) bosses have typically said the roads are too narrow for both parked cars and buses, but East Coulsdon councillor Chris Wright said a positive trial run had taken place recently. He added another meeting on site with transport officials was due to take place after the May 22 local elections. Cllr Wright continued: "To get a bus service is important, particularly because of the elderly residents on the estate. "It is a long way to walk from there to the 466 so that has always been a problem. Up to now the service has been discouraged by the fact that bus companies could not get down because of the parking. "I am quietly confident – but I will believe it when I see it." Cllr Wright said more parking spaces were due to be created on the estate, helping to free up the roads. But many residents say new housing planned will only make parking problems worse, jeopardising the bus service. Elizebeth Brooks, 60, said: "The bus service is very much needed but it will not be sorted until they sort out the parking. There is no way a bus going to be getting around the estate, because the parking is going to be getting worse; they are pulling down garages and building flats." The potential service is likely to be an extension of one of the single-decker routes that pass nearby Coulsdon Road, such as the 404. A special service has also been discussed. Ms Brooks added: "There are a lot of elderly and disabled people on the estate and to get to the nearest bus stop is difficult. It takes me about 15 minutes; it used to take about seven." John Barry, from TfL, said: "We have undertaken a study on potential passenger usage and are currently assessing what changes would need to be made to the road network to operate a bus service. "Once these have been reviewed we will make our recommendation."
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