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Westminster cuts coach parking spaces after idling warnings ignored

Motors | Published: | Last Updated:

Three coach parking spots in Westminster will be removed and replaced with EV charging points, cycling hangars and residential parking

Westminster City Council will remove a handful of coach parking spots after warnings over engine idling were said to be ignored.

The council says it warned ‘drastic action’ would be taken if drivers continued to leave engines idling while parking at spots around Westminster in an open letter to ‘some’ of the country’s biggest coach companies.

It says this warning was ignored, resulting in plans to remove three spots on Horseferry Road, located near the Houses of Parliament. These places will be replaced by EV charging spots, cycling hangars and residential parking later this month.

Tim Mitchell, Westminster City Council deputy leader, 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.”

This announcement comes as Westminster City Council presses on with its ‘#DontBeIdle’ campaign, with the aim of cutting emissions in the London borough caused by vehicles idling.

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The coach industry has not offered a warm reception to the decision, however.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Keith McNally, operations director for industry trade association The Confederation for Passenger Transport, 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.”

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