Tolworth may lose a piece of transport history as Kingston Council struggles to foot the bill of restoring a wooden bus shelter.

The double-sided timber bus shelter, opposite the Red Lion pub in Ewell Road, is rumoured to be the last of its kind in the capital and is so rare that London Buses approached Kingston Council almost two years ago about moving it to a bus museum in Acton.

A spokesman for London Omnibus Traction Society 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.

“They were only used where there was a genuine need for a double side – which narrows it down to the rare occasions where – like opposite the Red Lion pub – a bus would stop on each side.”

An impasse over who pays for a new shelter between Kingston Council and London Buses has left the plan in limbo.

If it deteriorates too much the museum will turn down the chance to remove the shelter leaving the cost of fixing or replacing it to Kingston Council.

Former councillor Ian George wants to secure the future of the shelter and ensure it is kept in the community.

He said: “To me, it gives the area character and it is historical and we shouldn’t lose it. I think it will be really sad if we do.”

Jennifer Butterworth, chairman of the Kingston Society, said the group would support the bus shelter staying and encouraged people to defend historic buildings and scenery.

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