Most Coach Friendly Local Authority

This Award will be won by an authority that has made extra effort to deliver outstanding facilities for coaches and their passengers.

The performance of tourist attractions and the quality of visits can be critically affected by local highway authorities’ policies on traffic management, parking and road network development.

Enlightened local authorities:

  • encourage use of public transport
  • provide facilities for visiting coaches, their drivers and their passengers
  • invest in infrastructure for coaches 
  • promote access to their area by public transport, including coaches.

The Winners: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council (Southport)

Southport's map with clear directions for coachesSefton’s main town of Southport offers an award-winning system of coach parking, with a dedicated system of coach designated drop off points and its unique Coach Host system.

The Coach Hosts welcome visitors off the coaches providing groups with discount vouchers, plus information on what the town has to offer.Extensive coach parking facilities are linked by a park and ride service to the town centre. It is a powerful and well thought-through offering, which means that Sefton wins this award for the second year running.

Runners Up: Canterbury City Council

Cantebury's directions for coach operatorsExcellent parking facilities are available at Canterbury's new Coach Park, which features toilets and seating areas. There are no time restrictions, and welcoming shepherds with maps and information in the high season. In addition, the council has provided boarding and alighting points.

One, at St George's Lane, offers two-bay coach drop off and collection facilities, including coaches that off-load from the left hand side. It is located in front of the new Whitefriars shopping centre and is just 400 metres from the cathedral. Pre-booking is necessary, and it is supervised at all times. The other pick up and set down facility is in Station Road East.

The judges praised the developments and the new facilities, which have been widely welcomed by the industry.

Highly Commended

Lichfield District Council

One of Lichfield's attractive brochuresLichfield was recently awarded 'Coach Friendly Status' by the Confederation of Passenger Transport, and a warm welcome awaits groups and coaches in the city.

Guided tours are available, and VisitLichfield also holds familiarisation visits for Group Organisers every year. Facilities for coaches include five unloading and parking bays in Birmingham Road Car Park, unloading bays beside Beacon Park, close to the Cathedral, and unloading and parking bays in The Friary.

Medway Council (for Rochester)

The excellent facilities in Rochester's coach parkRochester is one of the most historic cities in England, with its associations with the Romans, the Normans and the author Charles Dickens, who spent many years in the area and included many references to the city in his novels.

Medway Council has won several awards over the years for its commitment to welcome visiting coaches to its area. A set-down point is provided right by the City's award-winning visitor centre, whilst the free and fully equipped Acorn Wharf Coach Park is 300 yards away

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Windsor's map which offers clear informationOne of the most visited towns in the UK, Windsor has adapted well to the major challenge of managing coaches in this busy environment. The 74-space coach park is bookable in advance, and has differential charges with rates for one hour, up to four hours and up to 10 hours. Situated in Alma Road, the coach park offers a lift that takes visitors from the Coach Park into the Windsor Royal Station, a few minutes' walk from the main attractions. Other facilities for visitors and coach drivers at the coach park include toilets, restaurant, gift and souvenir shops

Who could be nominated?

District Councils, County Councils and Unitary Authorities throughout the United Kingdom.

…and by whom?

Readers of Coach and Bus Week magazine who are coach operators were asked to nominate towns and/or cities whose provision for coaches they had admired during the last 12 months. They were asked to explain why they thought the nominated town or city deserved this award.

Criteria and Entry Requirements:

A judging process supplemented the nominations of CBW readers, including an assessment of the authority’s overall tourism and transport policies, future plans and sustainability. The process may if necessary include an element of ‘mystery shopping’.

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