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GOLDEN TOURS was granted a licence by the Metropolitan Traffic Commissioners to operate four sightseeing excursions.
They are half-day, evening and a day's duration tours Monday to Saturday and half-day excursions on Sundays in the capital.
Objections by the London Borough of Southwark and the City of Westminster were met by alterations to the proposed routes. Epsom Coaches, Frames-Rickards and Evan Evans Tours also objected, For Golden Tours, Gordon Tyson said the applications come under Section 35 of the 1981 Transport Act, giving competing tour operators no right to objection. They could object only to applications dealt with under Section 31 and than solely concerning public interest.
Section 36 was a short-cut for excursions and tours, provided that they did not compete directly with any licensed service that was not itself an excursion and tour, he said.
For Frames-Rickard, Geoffrey Vander Wallas argued that the Commissioners could make no decision without hearing evidence from other operators In the field who knew the situation on a day-to-day basis.
Nitin Palen, the Golden Tours managing director, said coaches would be hired from Angel Motors of Edmonton.
Inquiries, he said, had been made to the London Tourist Board and, so far as he knew, the proposals did not compete.
The traffic area office had said that no list of road service licence holders was available, Julian Sandys, for Evan Evans, said that if the short-cut of Section 35, which cut out all consideration of public Interest were to be adopted, the Commissioners had to be satisfied that the provisos had been met. There was no evidence that the proposals did not compete with any such service and he considered that the inquiries made by Mr Palen were perfunctory.
The chairman of the Commissioners, Anthony Robertson, said they had no evidence to show that the proposed tours would compete directly with any service other than an excursion and tour. The applications had gone through the statutory procedures of publication and time allowed for objection.