Sightseeing terminal decisions expected
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THE METROPOLITAN Traffic Commissioners are seeking to sort out London's sightseeing tour terminals and expect to announce their decision next week. They have reserved decisions on applications by five tour operators for nine points.
London Sightseeing Tours sought authority to commence tours from Piccadilly, Speaker's Corner, the Park Lane Air Bus Stop, Victoria Street and Kensington Road, Associated company Maybury and Son (Coaches) sought a point at the Speaker's Corner phone boxes.
Vintage BUS COM pany wanted to start tours from Haymarket, Great Cumberland Place and Trafalgar Square. Ebdons Coaches wished to use a point in Haymarket instead of Piccadilly Circus. London Country Bus Services sought a point in Trafalgar Square previously used by National Travel (London).
Proposals by London Citi
r ill j to use points in Haymarket and Victoria Street; by Vintage Bus Company to use Victoria Embankment; by London Country Bus Services to use Victoria Street and Cromwell Road; and by London Sightseeing and Maybury's to use Grosvenor Gardens, were dropped.
Opposition to most of the points came from either Greater London Council, the City of Westminster or the Metropolitan Police. In certain cases conditions suggested by the police were acceptable to the operators.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea wished to raise objections to the routeing of some tours. However, Commissioners chairman Air Vice-Marshall Ronald Ashford ruled that as the applications were being considered under Section 35 of the 1981 Act, the Commissioners had no power to consider routeing.
Geoffrey King, head of the traffic and safety division of the GLC, said joint discussions were held between London Regional Transport, the police, the GLC and other local authorities. They were concerned that other types of service not subject to the SaITIC consultation undermined the discussions by making use of the agreed sites as well as sites which it had been agreed were unsuitable.
Objections for the various points were based on proximity to stage carriage bus stops, the blocking of business frontages, traffic congestion, danger to pedestrians, and passengers boarding and alighting.