BANDS of volunteers will meet and greet coachloads of tourists arriving in Devizes this summer.

Residents wearing sashes bearing the legend Welcome To Devizes will meet the coaches and hand out leaflets on what the town has to offer and the best places to visit, eat and drink.

It is another initiative set up by the Devizes Area Tourism Partnership, created after the town’s tourist information centre in the Market Place closed two-and-a-half years ago.

Tony Aldridge from the partnership said Blue Badge guides had visited the town in recent weeks and been impressed by what was on offer.

He said: “They are very enthusiastic about Devizes. We met a group of them at the museum and took them to see the town hall. They were particularly impressed by the Assembly Room. Then we went to Dolcipani for coffee and cake and then a tour of the Market Place.”

Devizes is well on its way to becoming an official Coach Friendly Town. Problems with the lack of toilets close to the coach parks in Station Road and The Wharf have been solved by Kennet and Avon Canal Trust allowing the use of its facilities at the Wharf Centre.

An inspection by the Coach Friendly committee will take place on March 18. Mr Aldridge said: “We plan to make it a joined-up experience for the visitors. A number of major coach operators have put us on their itinerary as part of their Stonehenge tours.”