The La Mimosa station has been vacated, well sort of!
Scudamores have removed their punts and the larger of their ticket offices (that had been stored there since they stopped using it at Quayside). The punts are nowhere to be seen, the ticket office has been moved across the river to Jubilee Gardens. The smaller ticket office is still in situ and the gates to the station and also the smaller, public access landing stage are still chained shut.
On the face of it this would seem to indicate that recent suggestions of imminent vacant possesion of the station were correct. However it raises more questions than it answers:
- Has the station been given up?
- Is so, why is the public access stage still locked?
- Why is the Scudamores ticket office still present? There is no mention of a ticket office in the City council’s plans for the station when used by independent punt operators
- Why has the other ticket office not been moved up stream, merely across to the other bank of the river? If it’s because of the wind then why start the job when it couldn’t be completed? The weather forecasts have been mentioning severe weather and strong winds for at least the last 3 days
- Has the pontoon been given up willingly or because the legal battle was won by the City council?
If Scudamores gave up the pontoon willingly it would indicate that they have succeeded in finalising whatever details they felt needed finalising and they have been able to influence the future licence terms for independent punt operators using the station.
- As the City council have had over a month to prepare the application packs (since the meeting when the decision was rubber stamped), why have they not been sent out yet? Given that the council must have had an idea (certainly they have indicated that they did) that the station was about to be released (if indeed it has), they have had ample time.
- What are the licence terms going to be for the new station?
- Why is the City council still failing to communicate properly with independent punt operators?
If the City council have succeeded, by legal means, in getting Scudamores to give them vacant possesion of the station (not currently the case) then this must be seen as positive progress. On the other hand, if Scudamores have started the process of handing over the station willingly then it would seem to indicate that they have finalised the details that were a sticking point and that the city will impose restrictive licence conditions on independent punt operators. Only time will tell, we would welcome some communication from the City council to clarify what is happening.