In a huge victory for local campaigners, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that Transport for London will not build a coach station at Royal Oak.
He made the announcement in letter to Karen Buck MP, Councillor Adam Hug and Councillor Maggie Carman in response to their letter of 21st February.
Transport for London had been exploring the option of a coach station on land it owns next to Royal Oak to replace the Victoria coach hub. Westminster Labour, alongside local residents, has been fighting to persuade TFL that Royal Oak would have been wildly unsuitable, not least because it would increase air pollution and congestion on our already crowded local roads.
Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan has listened to local people’s concerns and has told TFL that Royal Oak is not an acceptable place for a coach station and that they should make other plans. In his letter the Mayor wrote:
“On further investigation, the site at Royal Oak presented significant challenges, relating to the day to day operation of the site and viability. TfL has therefore decided not to take forward plans for a coach station at Royal Oak. TfL will instead develop alternative mixed-use proposals for the site, which do not include a coach facility. Any future plans will, of course, be subject to extensive community consultation and engagement with the borough and local stakeholders.
My Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, shared with me the concerns of your constituents about siting a coach facility at Royal Oak following your meeting on 22 January. I trust this is a satisfactory outcome for you and your constituents.”
Bayswater Labour Councillor Maggie Carman, who has been campaigning hard with local residents said: “I am delighted that Sadiq Khan has listened to the residents of Bayswater and taken action to prevent a potential disaster for our community. It is a victory built on the hard work of so many community activists who have come together with me, my ward colleagues, SEBRA and PRACT to fight the damaging proposal for a coach station at Royal Oak.”
Karen Buck MP said “I am delighted that the Mayor has recognised Royal Oak to be an inappropriate site for a coach station, not least in view of our concerns about air quality and existing traffic levels. Over the last few months I have been working with Councillor Maggie Carman and other local Labour councillors to make the case, and to demonstrate the level of community concern, so it is a great relief to know these have been listened to.“
Councillor Adam Hug, Labour Group Leader and Westbourne Councillor, said: “This has been a team effort from across Westminster to stop these poorly thought out plans for Royal Oak. This decision will be a huge relief for so many residents but particular for those on the Warwick Estate in my ward who would have had to live next door to the proposed coach station.”