Artist's rendition of BRT on Wellington Rd at Baseline Rd. E. Courtesy of city of London.

Tourism London Voices Concern Over BRT Plan

Citing a negative impact to tourism and local business, London’s tourism agency is raising issues over the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan.

On Thursday, Tourism London General Manager John Winston sent a letter to city council and the mayor expressing concern over the current proposed BRT routing plan, specifically its potential impact on attracting “major sporting, entertainment and convention events due to an anticipated lengthy construction schedule and associated factors.”

Winston told BlackburnNews.com  that he wants council to understand that there may be “unintended consequences” that could occur if the city follows through with the current plan.

“We recognize that the city is committed to a BRT system,” he said. “We applaud and encourage them to develop a rational implementation plan that serves the future transportation needs of our city.”

The letter to council cites the impeded loading dock capability at Budweiser Gardens, subtracted street parking on King andRichmond streets, compressed vehicle access and mobility throughout the downtown core and Richmond Row, and a proposed tunnel and median curb protected BRT lane on Wellington Rd., as plans that could severely affect businesses and tourism.

“We encourage [council] to take heed of what we’ve indicated to them, and hopefully make some amendments to the existing plan, to consider alternative options that minimize the business disruption and maximize the community buy-in,” said Winston.

Winston added that Tourism London has not suggested any alternate routes for the plan.

“We leave that to the professionals,” he said.

Tourism London isn’t the first group to express concern over the BRT plan.  Earlier this month, council approved a recommendation from the Civic Works Committee to have staff bring forward alternative Bus Rapid Transit routes  and seek additional input from the community.

To read Winston’s letter to London council and the mayor, click here.