Delight as Devizes awarded coach friendly town status

This Is Wiltshire: Mayor Pete Smith greets the party which visited in the lead up to making Devizes a coach friendly town for tourists and tour operators Mayor Pete Smith greets the party which visited in the lead up to making Devizes a coach friendly town for tourists and tour operators

Devizes has been awarded the accolade of coach friendly town.

The decision was made by the Confederation of Passenger Transport following a visit to Devizes by two of their officials last week.

Tony Aldridge, who owns Rosemundy Cottage Bed and Breakfast in London Road and is a member of Devizes Area Tourism Partnership (DATP), told Devizes Area Board on Monday night: “There are very few towns in the country who have managed to get this award.”

DATP has been working for the past year on wooing coach tours back to Devizes.

It has been said that the lack of public toilets in The Wharf and Station Road car parks – where coach bays are sited – was a major reason for coaches not visiting Devizes.

A key part of DATP’s strategy to attract coaches has been the removal of some on-street car parking spaces in New Park Street for coaches to set down passengers and then move off to The Wharf or Station Road car parks.

New Park Street was chosen because of its close proximity to the public toilets in West Central Car Park.

David Dawson, director of Wiltshire Museum and a member of DATP, said based on official tourism statistics from 2008 he estimated the value of tourism in Devizes to be £30 million.

Simon Jacobs, chairman of Devizes Area Board, congratulated DATP on the coach friendly award.

He said: “This is no mean feat. There are very few towns who have this award and all the work you (DATP) do is voluntary.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:10pm Mon 31 Mar 14

googolplex says...

It is good to see that Devizes has been awarded the accolade of being a coach friendly town.
The problem is, this has been achieved at the expense of the loss of 10 heavily used car parking spaces. The turnover of vehicles using these spaces was considerable. As a rough estimate, during a the period of 9am to 6pm each space would have been occupied by upwards of 9 vehicles. In other words 90 vehicles a day, or, during a 6 day week a grand total of 540 vehicles. All of these have now been displaced, and may, or may not, have parked elsewhere in the town. My point is, for the town to be an economic success and therefore retain the range of shops it presently possesses good parking access is vitally important.
The decision to use these car parking spaces for the occasional use of Tourism Coaches is all the more odd because when the layout of the Market Place was changed it was specifically designed to cater for buses and coaches of all types. It is certainly has the capacity to provide space for tourist coaches and arguably would provide a much more attractive first impression of the town.
The current arrangements are experimental and will be in place for 18 months. The long term intention is, apparently, to investigate the provision of spaces for tourist coaches at the back of the Shambles in the West Central Car park.
This idea was fully investigated by Kennet District Council and was found to be completely impractical. This was because of the space available and the requirement to provide access to surrounding premises, all of whom have their own rights of way. Quite why it being resurrected again, given that coaches have not got any smaller and the space available and other constraints have not changed is something of a mystery.
It is sad to reflect that Wiltshire Council has again made a decision that has a potentially serious detrimental affect of the economic viability of the town. Firstly they closed the TIC and consequently lost £1,000,000 from the local economy, and now they have agreed to remove well used parking spaces with who knows what financial consequences.
Why did Wiltshire Council not insist on using the Market Place for its intended purpose?.
It is good to see that Devizes has been awarded the accolade of being a coach friendly town. The problem is, this has been achieved at the expense of the loss of 10 heavily used car parking spaces. The turnover of vehicles using these spaces was considerable. As a rough estimate, during a the period of 9am to 6pm each space would have been occupied by upwards of 9 vehicles. In other words 90 vehicles a day, or, during a 6 day week a grand total of 540 vehicles. All of these have now been displaced, and may, or may not, have parked elsewhere in the town. My point is, for the town to be an economic success and therefore retain the range of shops it presently possesses good parking access is vitally important. The decision to use these car parking spaces for the occasional use of Tourism Coaches is all the more odd because when the layout of the Market Place was changed it was specifically designed to cater for buses and coaches of all types. It is certainly has the capacity to provide space for tourist coaches and arguably would provide a much more attractive first impression of the town. The current arrangements are experimental and will be in place for 18 months. The long term intention is, apparently, to investigate the provision of spaces for tourist coaches at the back of the Shambles in the West Central Car park. This idea was fully investigated by Kennet District Council and was found to be completely impractical. This was because of the space available and the requirement to provide access to surrounding premises, all of whom have their own rights of way. Quite why it being resurrected again, given that coaches have not got any smaller and the space available and other constraints have not changed is something of a mystery. It is sad to reflect that Wiltshire Council has again made a decision that has a potentially serious detrimental affect of the economic viability of the town. Firstly they closed the TIC and consequently lost £1,000,000 from the local economy, and now they have agreed to remove well used parking spaces with who knows what financial consequences. Why did Wiltshire Council not insist on using the Market Place for its intended purpose?. googolplex
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree