Plans are underway to achieve Coach Friendly Status for the Saxon town of Christchurch.
The first steps saw the return of coach parking when it was secured with the instalment of three coach spaces at Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre last year. The aim is to align Christchurch with the accredited status, already achieved in neighbouring Bournemouth and Poole.
A preliminary audit of the town took place at a meeting on Tuesday (27 July), attended by John Burch of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, Cllr Mike Greene and John McVey of BCP Council, David Squire, Chair of the Destination Management Board and Tim Lloyd and Sue Harmon-Smith of the Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Works will now begin, following recommendations from Mr Burch, to facilitate the plans. A further inspection later on will determine the outcome.
Cllr Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability, said: “A great deal of work has gone into re-introducing coach parking for Christchurch to enable visitors to our historic town. We hope this is the start of an exciting enterprise that provides a greener way for visitors to travel and enjoy our hospitality.”
Sue Harmon-Smith, the Secretary for Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce, was formerly the Tourism Manager for the town.
“Coach travel has always been very important to this town’s tourism economy,” she said. “We’re delighted that we can now offer designated coach parking to further enhance the town’s offering. It is not only the attractions that will benefit but also all those within the hospitality sector such as hotels and restaurants. This will give the travel trade a much-needed boost.”
David Squire, Chair of the Transport Sector for the Destination Management Board, said: “It’s wonderful to have coach parking facilities back in Christchurch town centre following the loss of the bays at Mayors Mead. This helps us to support our vision to bring tourists into Christchurch with all its attractions and numerous hospitality businesses across the area. It’s also a very green method of travelling with up to 40 fewer cars on the road over any given time.”