DEVIZES is popular with coach companies despite major problems finding coach parking close to public toilets, Devizes Area Board heard last week.

Tony Aldridge of the Devizes Tourism Partnership told the gathering at the Sports Club in London Road that the town had been featured in the magazine Coaches Monthly in the November, December and January issues.

Mr Aldridge said: “We have 22 coach parking bays in the town and high-quality toilets, they are just not in the same place. Despite that Devizes has become a key destination as far as 50 coach companies are concerned, having a top museum and being between Stonehenge and Avebury. We have 50 eating places, 250 shops and sites of special interest.”

The partnership has produced a leaflet, entitled Devizes Welcomes Coaches, which is being distributed to tourist agencies and coach companies.

Mr Aldridge said: “Visit Wiltshire has a budget of £800,000, Salisbury Cathedral £300,000 and we have spent £250.”

He added: “We had eight Blue Badge guides from Bath come to Devizes the other day and they were so enthusiastic about the town.”

Devizes has coach parking spaces at the Wharf and Station Road but Kennet District Council closed the toilets there some years ago.

Coach drivers have complained that their often elderly passengers have to walk a considerable distance to the staffed toilets in the West Central car park.

  • Wiltshire Council has now approved the conversion of car parking spaces in New Park Street, close to the toilet block, for coach parking.