Berwick-upon-Tweed will gain four coach parking bays in a brand new park, to be built within the next few months at Chapel Street.
The Northumberland County Council decision follows a number of proposals and studies. The Council has been looking to provide dedicated coach parking in the town to support tourism and boost the economy of the town for a number of years, and this has been a hotly debated topic in the area.
Plans originally drawn up for this site envisaged it could work in tandem with a drop-off point in Church Street. However, after local suggestions of alternate areas – Castlegate car park being the main one – the council decided to put a hold on the project pending further investigation.
Cllr Ian Swithenbank, Cabinet Member for Local Services, explained: “This hasn’t been a straightforward decision and we have looked carefully at other locations suggested to see if they would be better. This included examining the results of a local survey which favoured Castlegate car park, but it was simply not an appropriate option.”
It was found the Castlegate option would lead to a significant loss of town centre car parking spaces and create a serious safety risk between coach, car and pedestrian movements.
Local County Cllr, Gavin Jones, said: “I am pleased that common sense has prevailed and that the threat of losing Castlegate car park has been removed. I look forward to seeing the Chapel Street coach park welcoming coaches into Berwick.
“I hope that, for those who felt Chapel Street was not the first choice, the opportunity that a coach park will provide to tourism in Berwick can be welcomed.”
CPT’s Coaching Manager, Andy Warrender, told CBW: “Berwick is a favourite destination for tourists visiting the border region and the town continues to welcome a great number of coaches each and every year.
“Coach parking in the area has been a contentious issue for CPT and our members for many years, with lengthy and detailed discussions between the industry and local stakeholders regularly taking place ahead of this announcement.
“We very much welcome the new town centre coach park on Chapel Street, and are delighted to see that the important role the coach can play in supporting tourism and boosting the economy has been recognised.”