Victoria Coach Station move to Royal Oak scrapped by Mayor
£150million scheme dropped after community campaign
15 March, 2019 — By Helen Chapman
Sadiq Khan has scrapped another plan
CAMPAIGNERS have claimed victory after transport chiefs scrapped plans to move Victoria Coach Station to Royal Oak.
Campaign groups in Bayswater, Westbourne and Hyde Park had called for the coach station to be moved to the outskirts of London.
South East Bayswater Residents’ Association and Paddington Residents’ Active Concern on Transport had warned the move would increase anti-social behaviour, increase pollution and traffic congestion.
They are celebrating after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the head of Transport for London, wrote to councillors this week conceding the plans had been axed.
His letter said: “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.”
The future of the 1930s Art Deco coach station was thrown in doubt because leases, owned by the Duke of Westminster’s property group Grosvenor and TfL, are due to expire in sections over the next decade.
Bayswater Conservative councillor Emily Payne, who organised a protest outside Waitrose about the proposals, said: “This is a brilliant news and is testament to the relentless hours our local community has spent fighting these plans.”
Westminster Council leader Nickie Aiken added: “I am glad the mayor has heeded those arguments. If we are serious about cutting the lev- els of pollution across the capital, Victoria, Bayswater or anywhere else in central London is not the place for it.”
Labour MP for Westminster North Karen Buck said: “I am delight- ed 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.”
Bayswater’s Labour councillor Maggie Car- man added: “It is a victory built on the hard work of so many community activists who have come together with me, my ward colleagues, South East Bayswater Residents’ Association and Padding- ton Residents’ Active Concern on Transport, to fight the damaging proposal.”
An estimated 14 million people pass through the coach station every year. It acts as a convenient interchange between Victoria train station and the tube line. But work on the much-awaited Crossrail 2 line will see at least some of the coach station used as a work site from 2023, according to the mayor’s transport strategy.
A TfL spokesperson said: “We will need to adapt operations at Victoria Coach Station as the area changes and leases expire, but have decided not to take forward pro- posals for a coach station at Royal Oak after finish- ing our review. We contin- ue to look at a wide range of suitable options across London that ensure the city is adequately served by coaches.”