This study investigates the place of tourism by coach in London at a time when numbers of tourists to the capital continue to rise. Firstly, the regulatory framework for bus and coach services in London, along with the different types of tourist service provided, is examined. The typical sightseeing tour is explained and the roles of the major bodies concerned with managing tourism by coach are discussed. Next, trends in the demand for overseas and domestic tourism to London, are examined, focusing on variations over a range of time-scales and on the function of coach travel in the tourism market. Coach passengers are characterised and the relationship between coach operators and tour agents is discussed. Turning to on-the-road issues, coaches are seen in their context as components of traffic. This part of the study distinguishes matters relating to coaches in moving traffic from those concerning parking and stops of short duration for picking-up and setting-down passengers. The final component of the study is an assessment of the possible impact of the deregulation of local bus services in London on tourist buses and coaches. Throughout the study use is made of published and unpublished data along with survey programmes undertaken in order to gain both quantitative and qualitative data regarding the operation of tourist coaches in London. These programmes form the major research effort of this study and comprise a series of kerbside coach and traffic surveys, along with an interview survey of tourist coach operators and other interested bodies. The report ends with a summary and conclusions, followed by a series or recommendations for action by central and local government, tour and coach operators, hoteliers and operators of tourist attractions.

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