‘Constructive’ coach parking talks
CPT, in conjunction with the London Tour Coach Operators Association (LTCOA), has had a ‘productive meeting’ with TfL. Issues were raised surrounding operating coaches in London, in particular parking. Chaired by Ben Plowden, Director of Strategy and Planning, Surface Transport at TfL, it involved Head of Delivery Planning, Lilli Matson and Senior Strategy and Planning Manager, Simon Lusby. Also in attendance were Chairman of CPT’s Coach Commission, Ian Luckett; CPT Coaching Manager, Andy Warrender; Chairman of LTCOA, Paul Hockley and Director of Development and Administration at LTCOA, Sue Reynolds.
Operating coaches in London’s crowded streets is predicted to become more difficult with the emergence of the London Cycle Superhighway and Ultra Low Emission Zone proposals, as well as events and the inevitable planned and emergency road works. The difficulties faced by operators on a day to day basis are causing some companies to consider stopping bringing parties into central London, according to CPT. The trade body says this would have a ‘massive effect’ on the capital’s economy, with coach passengers making a ‘significant contribution to tourism’ and proving an affordable option for thousands of commuters.
Ian Luckett said, ‘Today’s meeting was extremely useful and enabled a full and frank discussion of the issues. CPT Members remain very concerned about the lack of facilities for coaches including parking, set down and pick up points but CPT and LTCOA believe that we have made progress.
‘We were very encouraged by the positive approach adopted by TfL, their understanding of our concerns and their desire to move towards seeking solutions wherever practicable. All parties have agreed that similar high level meetings will take place on a regular basis. Operating coaches in London will always be a challenge and the pressures on all concerned are enormous. We all recognise and accept that London’s streets were never built to cater for such large vehicles, but equally the Capital should not become a no-go area for coaches and the benefits they bring. By constructive dialogue with TfL, LTCOA and other stakeholders CPT remains confident that we can achieve a better deal for coach operators.’