This Award was designed to be won by an authority that had 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.
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council (Southport)
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 voucher booklets plus information on what the town has to offer. Extensive coach parking facilities are available at the Eco Visitor Centre, featuring security fencing, CCTV. It is linked by a park and ride scheme to the town centre. Southport has been awarded CPT's title of a coach friendly destination.
Joint Runners Up
Medway Borough Council (Rochester)
Rochester is one of the most historic cities in the UK, with links dating back to before the Roman invasion. Its strategic importance as a point for crossing the River Medway made it a natural centre, and it had a Roman fort and a Norman castle. Its cathedral is the second oldest in England, whilst the city has extensive connections with 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 Acorn Wharf Coach Park is 300 yards away, and features
- a purpose-built toilet drop
- coach washing facility
- disposal point
- fully-furnished drivers' rest room, with comfortable seating, TV, microwave and refreshment facilities, all free of charge (when an attendant is on duty).
- Salisbury Borough Council
Salisbury prides itself on being a coach-friendly destination and has been awarded the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK Special Certificate for being a Coach Friendly Local Authority. Just over one mile from the city centre Britford Park and Ride is especially convenient for visitors arriving from south - 14 coach parking spaces are available here.
Services for coach operators include:
- A designated ten-minute waiting time drop off/pickup point in St John Street, just outside the Cathedral Close (useful for those on a tight schedule)
- A city centre coach park for up to 40 vehicles at Millstream Approach - the best option for groups staying the whole day in the city.
- A coach drivers' rest room at the Millstream Coach Park in the centre of the city.
- Bury Metropolitan Borough Council (Bury)
Coach visitors to Bury will find free parking available in the town at both the market site (15 spaces) and the East Lancashire Railway's station. The town also offers excellent facilities for group comforts (toilets, refreshments etc). For market visitors, there’s a free £5 lunch voucher redeemable at four locations with facilities for all drivers and brown tourist signs and pedestrian signage to coach parking areas.
- Chester City Council
Coach parking in Chester is now centralised at the Little Roodee Coach/Car Park located next to Grosvenor Bridge, Chester Castle and the River Dee. It has fully accessible toilets/baby change, visitor information, waiting area, café and drivers’ rest room. There are CCTV security cameras covering the site and the gates are locked from 22.30 until 06.00 hours.
- Melton Borough Council (Melton Mowbray)
Melton Mowbray is an historic market town situated in the East Midlands, midway between Nottingham, Leicester, Grantham, Oakham and Loughborough. Its market charter dates back over 1,000 years, which makes it the third oldest in England. In recent years, the town has become a a major centre for food in the Midlands, specialising in Stilton Cheese, Pork Pies and Hunt Cake. In addition to the traditional Tuesday market, there are now activities on other days: an antiques market on Wednesdays, the Melton Country Market on a Friday mornings, a street market on Saturdays and regular car boot sales on Sundays. The town centre is pedestrianised and offers free coach parking, which is a short walk from the town centre.
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, and other industry experts, 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 will supplement the nominations of CBW readers, including an assessment of the authority’s overall tourism and transport policies, future plans and sustainability.