Prime coach parking spots will be replaced with EV charging points in a bid to tackle air pollution from idling coaches in Westminster.
Westminster suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the country, with road transport contributing to more than half of the emissions.
There are currently 68 coach parking spaces located in Westminster, with many next to some of the city’s busiest pedestrian areas, outside schools and next to people’s homes.
In June 2019, Westminster City Council wrote an open letter to some of the country’s biggest coach companies warning them that action would be taken if drivers continued to idle their engines when parked.
However, after these warnings were ignored and complaints continued, the council has now put plans in place to remove several coach parking spots, replacing them with EV charging spots and cycling racks.
This action is part of the councils #DontBedle campaign which launched last year, with the aim to tackle the increased air pollution in Westminster.
Cllr Tim Mitchell, deputy leader of the council, 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 threated 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.’
In related news, in August 2019, Westminster City Council launched a new 50% parking surcharge on diesel vehicles to help tackle air pollution.
The scheme, which targets non-Euro 6 diesel vehicles, is expected to reduce the number of journeys older diesel vehicles make into central London by over a quarter of a million.
Vehicles will be subject to an additional surcharge on top of parking fees ranging from 85p to £2.45 per hour depending on where they park in Westminster, with the surcharge higher in more central locations.
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