A double-decker bus offering refuge to rough sleepers in Windsor has been impounded ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, a charity has said.
Thames Valley Police said the The Ark Project’s 10-bed bus was seized from the town centre on Thursday due to an issue with the driver’s licence.
Charity founder Michael Longsmith, 42, vowed to pay £1,500 to get it out of the impound before driving it straight back to Windsor Castle on Friday morning ahead of Saturday’s royal wedding.
Inspector Gavin Biggs, a roads police officer, said the force seized the “commercial vehicle” in the afternoon.
“It was being driven otherwise than in accordance with a licence, a man was reported for the offence and the vehicle was removed,” he added.
Mr Longsmith, of Newbury, Berkshire, said police pulled the bus over for not having an MoT, but he proved it was exempt. Then, he added, they questioned his licence, which he claimed is appropriate for the vehicle.
“The bus is in the impound,” he said. “We have got to pay £1,500 to get it released.”
“We are going straight back to Windsor with it in full force. We are going to park right outside the castle,” he added.
The bus’s presence came after Windsor council’s Conservative leader Simon Dudley sparked controversy with a letter to Thames Valley Police saying rough sleepers should be removed ahead of the wedding.
But, after a backlash, it appears the street homeless have not been removed and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead said it has been working with charities to get rough sleepers the help they need.
Picture: Homeless charity The Ark Project with their bus that houses 10 homeless people until they can be found more permanent accommodation visits Windsor Town Centre, UK on 16th May, ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. (Claire Doherty/Sipa USA).