Drivers blamed after coach spaces removed in Westminster

Council says it issued warnings about ‘constant idling’ in three prime spaces

Three coach parking spots in Westminster are to be replaced with EV charging points, cycling hangers and resident parking after Westminster Council received complaints about coach drivers persistently idling instead of switching off their engines.

In June 2019, the council sent an open letter to coach operators asking them to engage and sign up to the DontBeIdle campaign. The letter stated coach parking spots would be removed if the idling continued.

The three spots in Horseferry Road, close to the Houses of Parliament, will be removed from the public after “ongoing complaints”.

Cllr Tim Mitchell, Deputy Leader (Delivery) says: “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.”

Many large businesses signed up to the campaign, but the council has said that the biggest coach companies in the country have not responded, with National Express being the only exception.

Currently, there are no more plans to remove further spots in Westminster. Horseferry Road obtained the most complaints and reports, and the decision to remove the three spots was a demonstration to show the severity of the issue. The council hopes this action will be a “one-off.”