Greenwich Council’s GS Plus subsidiary are behind a TfL-run consultation on plans to operate a tourist bus service around Greenwich town centre up to the observatory. Consultation on the scheme can be seen here.
Visit Greenwich are also believed to be involved, and according to the consultation:
The service is financially supported by Royal Borough of Greenwich and is intended as a visitor shuttle between Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory.
The bus would run every 15 minutes from 10am to 5:45pm.
It follows a scheme that saw Greenwich Council’s GS Plus operating a minicab service last September from the council’s depot in Thamesmead. Thousands were spent on establishing the minicab business alongside offering council buses to external customers.
The minicab service flopped and much money spent appears wasted. The other service continues but does not require much of the capital outlay spent last year required by the taxi operation.
The route would start outside the Gypsy Moth pub by the Cutty Sark and then call at Greenwich Church Street, College Approach, King William Walk, Romney Road, Trafalgar Road, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park Road, Vanburgh Park Road, Vanburgh Park, Maze Hill, Charlton Way, private grounds within Royal Greenwich Park where buses would stand outside the observatory.
This probably isn’t 100% accurate but gives the general route:
The planned start date is 26th May.
The service raises many questions. Firstly, will it be free or paid for by tourists?
Who is funding this? Is Section 106 money being used? For example, Ikea is bringing in £1.7 million for transport. Is part or all of that going to this service? Or some of the other money from S106?
If S106 money is being used to prop up a loss leading enterprise, will it have any real impact on traffic as many tourists are hardly likely to drive from Cutty Sark to Greenwich Park?
Tourism is a big income generator so anything that could boost it or local businesses would be welcome.
Whatever the case, this is one to keep a close eye on.
Thanks to Westcombe Society for the heads up on this.
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