Greenwich: London borough could ban ice cream vans from 30 streets

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A list of streets was drawn up due in part to the “nuisance” that ice cream vans allegedly create.

A south London council has revealed plans to ban travelling ice cream vans from selling on more than 30 roads.

Greenwich Council has published a list of streets across Greenwich and Woolwich town centres where ice cream vans could be prohibited from trading.

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Council documents say the list was created due to the “nuisance” and impact on public amenity that the trading can attract. They highlighted potential air quality improvements due to reduced emissions from “engine idling”.

The list includes 20 roads in Woolwich town centre and 13 in Greenwich town centre. Included in the list are Beresford Square, Powis Street and General Gordon Square in Woolwich, as well as Greenwich High Road and Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich.

According to council documents, King William Walk beside Greenwich Park was added given its “sensitive” location in a World Heritage Site and Conservation Area. Attractions along the street include St Mary’s Gates, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Old Royal Naval College.

The decision on the street came after a complaint and two ombudsman enquiries were received due to an ice cream trader selling there. A representative from the Planning Inspectorate said in a report that the queue from an ice cream van would have a negative impact as it would visually “clutter” the views of the surrounding attractions, as well as creating a “bottleneck” at the main entrance to the museums.

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They said: “The partial screening and cluttering of views would adversely affect the enjoyment of visitors to this area as it would make the experience of this significant tourism attraction less pleasurable and it would make it more difficult for them to appreciate the significance and attractiveness of the area.”

Council officers said in their report that vendors who own ice cream vans may trade for 15 minutes or less on roads in the borough that are not exempt. Conditions for selling include moving locations within 15 minutes and not returning to the same street on the same day.

The proposal will be discussed at a Greenwich Council cabinet meeting today (June 14).

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