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Tours of the Palace of Westminster 
- latest arrangements

Last updated: 22 February 2003

You should have already received information about the new arrangements for tours of the Palace which came into force after the new session of Parliament began on 14 November.   In case you haven't, here are four emails sent out by the Central Tours Office Manager, Victor Launert.

The latest message - below (20 February 2003) outlines Visitor Tour timings from February to 31 August 2003 as well as current availability  You can also see earlier messages here.

From: LAUNERT, Victor   Sent: 20 February 2003

Attached please find updated Visitor Tour availability as at 20/02/03 up to 31/08/03. This includes arrangements for Members' tours during the Summer Opening.

Victor Launert - Central Tours Office Manager

Visiting Parliament Website: www.parliament.uk/directories/hcio/tours.cfm 


Earlier messages (23 October and 12 November 2002 as well as 6 January 2003) are now out-of-date but include useful background information.

Please find attached final Line of Route details valid up to July. The major change since the last CTO circular is that the LoR is now available on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in term time again, albeit excluding the Commons chamber after the 0920 tour.

In the attached document you will find tour times and current booking availability, indicating which days are already full etc. This information will in future be made available via the SAA intranet site, once this is up and running.

Also attached is a standard booking form for your use (which replaces any earlier versions) which shows what information we require for a booking. This may be posted to the CTO at 2, The Abbey Gardens; faxed to 020 7219 5603; e-mailed to CTO@parliament.uk; or its contents relayed by telephone to the bookings line on 020 7219 3003.

A very Happy New Year to all from the CTO.

Victor Launert - Central Tours Office Manager  

Sent: 6 January 2003

 

Further to my e-mail of 23rd October and the outcome of the Modernisation debate, please note that the Central Tours Office will be able to begin taking bookings for 2003 from next Tuesday 19th November.  At present we are only able to take bookings for Monday mornings and for Fridays (all day if the Commons are not sitting, late afternoon only if they are).  We are still awaiting the outcome of discussions regarding Line of Route availability on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and will update you further as soon as we are informed of this.

Please note also that in order to achieve a more orderly throughput of, and better experience for, visitors on the Line of Route, tours will operate on a strictly timed basis, and the ability of the CTO to accommodate last minute or "squeezed in" requests will be severely constrained.  One benefit of this more controlled throughput will be that it enables us to increase individual group sizes to 20, with effect from January 2003.

The system operating for 2003 bookings is as follows: constituents still need a sponsoring Member and therefore all approaches to the CTO should be made via Members' offices.  Once contacted, the CTO will advise on availability, book the tour, and send to the Member permits and supporting information for their constituents for signature and forwarding.  As from 14th November all guiding will be paid for by Parliament; guides must be drawn from an in-house pool and where one is requested will be allocated by the CTO.  Members may, of course, still elect to guide their groups round themselves or appoint a member of their own staff if they so wish. Redesigned Permits and supporting materials should guide all involved more smoothly through the entire process. 

From next Tuesday, bookings may be made by telephone (dedicated bookings line is 020 7219 3003) or fax (020 7219 5603); we plan to introduce e-mail and intranet services shortly.  Please refer general enquiries to 020 7219 4206/5246 (these two numbers should continue to be used for bookings enquiries before Tuesday).

Finally, thank you for bearing with us over the past few weeks as we put our systems in place.  We hope that from next Tuesday you will see an enhanced and responsive service from the CTO.

Victor Launert - Central Tours Office Manager

Sent: 12 November 2002.

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This e-mail is to introduce myself as the new Central Tours Office Manager and to outline developments regarding Members Line of Route tours over the next few weeks.

We are currently putting in place the new computer software for booking tours and guides from 14 November; this work is progressing well and, once we have tested it to our satisfaction, recipients of this e-mail will receive further details and information on how to book tours under the new system.  This will be within the next two weeks or so.

We are confident that these new procedures will provide a more efficient booking system and better experience for your visitors by spreading demand more evenly.  Please note, however, that in order to honour bookings made under the old system, for the first few months we will be running old and new systems in parallel and some benefits therefore may not immediately become apparent; please bear with us during this period.  

No action is needed from recipients regarding bookings already made, but if you do have any queries regarding these please do not hesitate to contact Kevin Reading on 4206 or Jonathan Frater on 5246.

Victor Launert - Central Tours Office Manager

Sent:  23 October 2002.

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