Convenient central location will provide 24 coach bays, plus car drop-off zone
White Street car park, near Pool Meadow bus station, will become Coventry’s official coach park.
Coventry City Council has approved plans to transform the car park, which is expected to close on March 31 and reopen as a coach park on April 30, at a cost of around £15,000.
Coventry city councillor Linda Bigham, cabinet member for city development, said: “It was never fully utilised as a car park, I believe that it was only ever about 44% full.” Coach tour operators have not used the White Street car park for nine years. In February Coventry won CPT Coach Friendly Status and announced initial plans for the coach park, as reported in CBW1023.
The park will have 24 coach bays along with drop-off car parking provision and taxi ranking space. There is also a proposal for CCTV to provide additional security.
Coventry City Council and Centro are currently looking into providing extra facilities such as restrooms. At present, passengers and drivers can use the facilities at Pool Meadow bus station, a short walk away.
Phil Bateman, CPT’s West Midlands regional manager, told CBW: “The fact that a big city like Coventry is taking an interest in providing more facilities for coaches is really important. It’s a really exciting time for Coventry and for the West Midlands.
“But of course they have also got to maintain it. The issue is keeping up the standards. We will be keeping a close eye on Coventry to see if they develop coaching as an important sector.”
He highlighted Coventry has a lot to offer coach operators in terms of places to visit. The city is home to a theatre, cathedral and a number of museums and will also be hosting football matches at this year’s Olympic Games.
He added: “Its location is key. It is as close as it can get to the city centre for operators who want to get their customers to the cathedral and other central locations.
“The important point is we’re hoping that, moving forward, Coventry is going to improve its coach status in the city and move forward as a tourist destination.
“It’s the policies they have which sit behind this new status which sets it apart from the other towns and cities in the West Midlands. I think we will be patting them on the back again in 12 months.”
Mr Bateman was able to confirm the CPT is speaking with Walsall and Wolverhampton about improving their coach status after Coventry’s new standing sparked interest in the nearby conurbations. He said if Birmingham was to follow suit, it would be very significant for the West Midlands.