Conwy coach drop-off changes

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North Wales authority approves £85,910 project to improve safety for left-hand drive coach passengers, as value of coach tourists stressed by residents

Conwy, the popular North Wales coaching town, is to further enhance the welcome it extends to visitors from continental Europe by improving the drop-off area for left-hand drive coaches.

The news comes after approval was given by Conwy Council’s Cabinet to implement safety improvements, which will see drop-off point widened to provide a walkway on the right side in the medieval town. Residents have expressed concerns that coaches from overseas are avoiding the town as the current arrangements mean passengers from left-hand drive coaches have to step out into moving traffic. The work, which will cost £85,910, will involve taking part of the car park away to give coaches more room to park and providing a pavement on the other side of the lay-by to keep pedestrians safe.

Conwy Council’s cabinet approved the decision earlier this month.

A report by Marianne Jackson, Conwy Council’s Head of Community Development Service, said: “The existing coach drop-off and pick up point in Conwy is well located from a passenger point-of-view, but presents a growing road safety risk with the lack of separation from the flow of traffic through the town centre.

“This risk is amplified as we strive to increase the market share of continental visitors to Conwy, as any overseas visitors arriving by continental coach when entering or disembarking will be on the off-side of the coach.

“This means that, without a footway on the off-side of the coach, they do so into and from the adjacent live carriageway, thus presenting a considerable road safety hazard.”

Welcoming the news, Toby Tunstall, Chairman of Conwy Chamber of Trade, said: “It can be quite frightening. We see people getting off coaches and going straight across the road with traffic driving pass. Getting back on the coach, they will cross the road with cars coming across their path.

“We need the coach trade to keep the tourist industry in Conwy going.

“The foreign visitors at the moment in particular are really keeping us going at a quiet time of year. These improvements are a really good idea.”

As reported in CBW at the time, the county of Conwy became the first authority in the British Isles to have three of its towns awarded Coach Friendly Status by the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT).

Conwy and Betws y Coed were awarded the important accreditation in June 2016, joining Llandudno which gained the accolade in 2015. The awards recognise the efforts the towns make to welcome coaches including having driver information and maps available as well as a driver and group organiser helpline for planning a visit.