Kingsway bays: Use them or lose them

Westminster City Council is urging operators to make use of the Kingsway coach parking bays, and warns that if occupancy rates continue to be low it may have no alternative than to reconsider whether all 24 are required in what would potentially be a damaging move for coaches in London.

Currently coaches can park in Kingsway for a maximum of four hours between 1000-1600hrs and 1900-0000hrs at a cost of £4 per hour, but during the evening – when the nearby Theatreland is at its busiest – occupancy rates of 50% or below are often being recorded, says Councillor Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking.

“That is strange, because Theatreland is so congested and polluted. It would be good if more coaches could use the Kingsway bays,” says Cllr Acton.

“We are under such pressure for our kerbside space that it’s very difficult to balance everything out. We’re keen to provide space for coaches, but we want to see that it’s being used. If it’s not, we want to know if there is a problem with it.”

Westminster has negotiated a 20% discount for drivers at a nearby café, but it does not rule out reducing the number of coach parking bays in Kingsway if occupancy rates remain poor.

Cllr Acton adds that, if coach parking provision at Kingsway was reduced, it is unlikely that the displaced bays would reappear elsewhere, although the council is open to suggestions from operators as to how it could be handled.