Westminster closes coach parking spots
Coach idling leads council to close coach bays
Westminster City Council is closing coach parking bays on Horseferry Road, close to the Houses of Parliament.
The move follows warnings in summer last year that it would take such drastic action due to coach drivers leaving their vehicles idling while parked in the spaces. After complaints persisted and calls to work together on anti-idling campaigns were ignored, plans are now in place to remove several coach parking spots in the city. The three spots in Horseferry Road are now being removed and replaced with EV charging points, cycling hangars and resident parking in a scheme to reduce unnecessary emissions and noise pollution, providing more sustainable use for the local community.
The spaces are located on a residential street close to nurseries, schools and local gardens. They have been a source of ongoing complaints against drivers idling their engines, pumping out what the Council describes as dangerous and unnecessary air and noise pollution.
This latest action comes as part of Westminster City Council’s #DontBeIdle campaign. The local authority claims many of the biggest coach operators in the country have not signed up to the pledge and have ignored public calls to do so.
Cllr Tim Mitchell, Deputy Leader (Delivery), said: “There is no sugar-coating the need to tackle traffic emissions in Westminster, so if we’re truly going to challenge this head on, then we have no choice but to take drastic action such as this.”
“We threatened to remove these spaces and have now done so, and I hope that this is a clear message to coach operators that they need to work with us to clamp down on engine idling. With hundreds of coaches travelling into the city every day, this small change from drivers would help steer us towards a cleaner, greener London.”
CPT Operations Director, Keith McNally, said: “Coaches carry 13 million tourists to London annually, who spend in the region of £1.3 billion a year, cutting congestion and creating jobs and revenue across the country. Coach parking spaces are at a premium and the further loss of spaces from central London will unfortunately place even more pressure on the remaining network. Ensuring coaches have sufficient locations to park while waiting for passengers is vital to easing congestion on London’s roads and cutting carbon emissions.
“Engine idling creates noise and disturbance to local residents as well as being bad for the environment and CPT works with its members and the wider industry to highlight these issues to drivers to minimise instances, which we believe are generally low in number.”