coffee sellers at the tube
July 3, 2006 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Who licenses those coffee-sellers who stand outside London tube stations?

Is it the council, Transport for London, or someone else entirely? And who in the organisation is responsible? I always thought it was the council, but recently heard of a complaint being made to the tube station about my local one, which made me wonder if they even have anything to do with it.

And yeah, as a last resort I could just go up and ask them, but I'm worried it might give them a bit of a fright.
posted by reklaw to Food & Drink (5 answers total)

Which tube station(s)? Unless you're talking about those Starbucks / AMT Coffee / etc kiosks, I've never seen such a thing.
posted by randomination at 7:41 AM on July 3, 2006

There are two at Highbury and Islington, one at East Finchley... uh... I'm sure I've seen them at others. They're those little coffee stands with a guy standing there, operating a coffee machine and selling biscuits and things.
posted by reklaw at 7:53 AM on July 3, 2006

A friend of mine had one at Canary Wharf, on the concourse of the station, licensed by the Mayor's office through Transport for London and the Canary Wharf Group (it's a private estate). But she's been forced to close because of pressure applied to the estate management by *bux and the other chain coffee shops.

She undercut the chains, and her coffee was great. She was furious but the estate management couldn't afford to upset the big retailers. There's got to be at least 20 coffee places on the Canary Wharf estate, and the bigger outlets have 4 or 5 coffee shops each.
posted by essexjan at 8:18 AM on July 3, 2006

Can't give you an absolutely certain answer, but based on experience with a similar who's-in-charge-of-the-outside-of-tube-stations issue:

If they're actually within the station, they'll be licensed (as essexjan says) by TfL, alongside any private landowners involved.

The same will generally apply if they're outside the station, but on a "red route" - although then the local council might have input as well, especially if they're on one of their "reducing street furniture" initiatives. The exact demarcation of responsibility here is likely to be a little murky, if my experience is anything to go by, but in theory TfL have overall control of the pavements in red routes.

If they're outside the station and not on a red route, it's almost certainly the local council.
posted by flashboy at 9:19 AM on July 3, 2006

Wow, I just noticed how useless that map I linked to is. Sorry about that.
posted by flashboy at 9:21 AM on July 3, 2006

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