§ Mr. Spearing
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement concerning the future location and management of the main London coach station, currently at Victoria.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
In September 1985 London Regional Transport, at the then Secretary of State's request, commissioned consultants to examine current and future terminal requirements for express coach services in London. The consultant's report, which is available in the Library, recommended that a major new terminal should be developed at Paddington. I announced on 17 November last year that I was not persuaded by the consultants' report that a single hub terminal was necessarily the right solution, and that the arguments should be properly aired in public before a decision was taken. LRT is now working on its proposals for a new coach terminal at Paddington, and I expect these proposals to be considered at a wide-ranging public inquiry next year.
I regard it as important that the public inquiry should be able to consider all the various strategies for coach stations in London, including the possibility that the evidence presented to the inquiry will suggest there is a continuing long-term role for Victoria coach station. I have therefore concluded that the existing coach station should remain in the public sector for the time being. In order that it can continue to operate if necessary unaffected by the eventual dissolution of the National Bus Company, I have decided that this can be best achieved by transferring its ownership to London Regional Transport. LRT and NBC are now discussing the most appropriate means of achieving this objective.