Strapped for cash and in £1bn worth of debt, Transport for London could soon be closing down London's iconic Victoria Coach Station and shift it to Royal Oak, but the plan has "horrified" nearby Bayswater residents.
TfL are in the early stages of discussions with Westminster City Council about the possibility of moving the capital's biggest coach station from its historic Art Deco buildings at Buckingham Palace Road, to a site near Bayswater and Westbourne Green.
The idea is already meeting massive local opposition, with councillors backing concerned residents to fight any proposal, and the council itself appearing lukewarm on the idea.
Getting to the new coach station could be more complicated for some who already use Victoria. It would mean six stops on the District and Circle line from Victoria or a trip on the Victoria Line and Bakerloo Line.
However it could be a boost for people who can get to Paddington easily.
Victoria Coach Station opened in the 1930s and has averaged 40 million visitors annually, which Bayswater ward councillors warn could swamp the local community, cause traffic congestion on Harrow Road, increase air pollution, and put the squeeze on local tube stations.
TfL says Royal Oak is just one location it is looking at, declining to reveal more detail about other possible sites.
Victoria Coach Station is part-owned by TfL and upmarket Mayfair and Belgravia landlord Grosvenor Estates.
If TfL moves the Coach Station it could open up development opportunities at the site, which can't be demolished because it became Grade-II listed in 2014. Grosvenor has long eyed up sprucing up the district around the station.
What are TfL actually planning?
A TfL spokesman confirmed Royal Oak was one potential option on the table.
He said: “We know that we will need to adapt operations at Victoria Coach Station as the area is likely to change.
"No decisions have been made on a location and we are looking at a wide range of options across London that ensure the city is adequately served by coaches, while allowing them to operate more efficiently and reduce both pollution and road danger.”
Westminster's cabinet member for environment and city management, Councillor Tim Mitchell, confirmed the council was in "ongoing discussions" with TfL about the proposal, adding: “We have set out our concerns that we are not convinced that Royal Oak or central London is the right place."
Locals spell out their fears
Bayswater councillor Emily Payne said Conservative ward councillors were opposed to any coach station for Royal Oak proposal.
"It's a place where families live and people stay - it's a very residential area, so we don't think it's suitable," she said. "The local infrastructure is just not set up for this."
She had been told the early concepts for Royal Oak included a "luxury" tower including a shopping mall atop a new coach terminus, which would be on railway sidings - land TfL already owns - Cllr Payne claimed.
New retail space could threaten Bayswater's already battling High Street, she added.
She said the councillors' view was the coach station should be moved further out of the centre to another future major transport hub.
Some were suggesting Old Oak Common in Acton, which is earmarked for an HS2 link and interchanges with Crossrail, Cllr Payne said.
Tfl declined to comment on whether the plans included a tower, or on speculation it was carrying out a feasibility study this month.
Bayswater Labour Councillor, Maggie Carman, said Labour is calling on the council to order a scrutiny committee session to call TfL in to speak in a public session and answer questions on its plans.