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Transport history lost as Tolworth bus shelter is removed
Tolworth has lost a piece of transport history after one of London’s last wooden bus shelters was removed over fears for pedestrians safety.
Kingston Council asked Transport for London (TfL) to move the double-sided timber bus shelter, opposite The Red Lion Pub in Ewell Road, because they were concerned about its proximity to a zigzag crossing.
The Surrey Comet was alerted to the fate of the local landmark by a concerned reader who snapped staff from TfL taking it away last Monday.
The transport firm plan to move the stop four metres along Ewell Road, towards Tolworth Broadway, replacing the wooden shelter with a plastic and metal construction.
Kingston council say the bus stop has been carefully removed and placed safely in storage before being moved to the London Transport Museum where it can be “restored to its previous glory”.
A Kingston Council spokesman said: “It was taken out of commission because it was becoming unsustainable for the council to keep it in a fit state.
“The neighbourhood committee working with council officers decided to decommission it to preserve it and give it a happy retirement.”
According to the Surbiton and district historical society the bus stop was most likely introduced in the early 1930s and started life as a stopping point for trams going to Kingston and Epsom.
A spokesman at The London Omnibus Traction Society said the shelter is rumoured to be the last of its kind in the capital.
A spokesman said: “Certainly when wooden shelters were common, until the late 1960s, double-sided ones were very rare even then, simply because under normal circumstances a bus stop is just alongside a single road and there would be no need nor desire for passengers to wait behind a wooden screen.”
TfL said the new stop would provide passengers with better shelter, lighting and passenger information.