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East Dulwich: man begs for bus stop change after ‘years’ of sleepless nights

An East Dulwich man has said he has struggled to sleep for seven years because of bus drivers taking noisy breaks outside his house in the middle of the night.

The number 12 bus stops near the back garden of the house where the resident, who asked to remain nameless, lives with his wife and two children. He has lived there for twenty years and said the noise of the drivers shouting and swearing while they take their breaks day and night has been “unbearable” at times, and the smell of cigarette smoke means they have often chosen to keep their windows shut, even in hot weather.

He works in private security, which means he has to get up at 4.30am to go to work. He said the noise made by the bus drivers on their breaks has had an effect on his work. “You need your wits about you in my job,” he said. “It’s difficult when you don’t get too much sleep.

“It’s got a lot worse recently. Especially during the summer, the noise can make it impossible to sleep”.

His wife’s sleep is also disrupted by the drivers. Their children, aged twelve and eight, sleep on the other side of the property so are less affected by the noise at night but he has to tell them not to listen to the drivers’ swearing.

He said he had asked for the bus drivers to be quieter and has been verbally abused in response on several occasions.

He has also complained to TfL for several years, without getting much of a response, he said. He asked for the bus stop where the drivers take their breaks to be moved but was told this was not possible.

Tom Cunnington, TfL’s Head of bus business development, said: “I am sorry to hear that [the resident]  and his family have experienced this behaviour. While it is important for driver wellbeing that they have a short break between trips we expect them to behave respectfully. Each of the bus operators has a code of conduct for their staff, and we are making it a priority to speak to the operator concerned to make sure that their staff comply.”

 

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