Southwold traders say coach ban irresponsible

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A trial ban on coaches which is being carried out in the village of Southwold in Suffolk is having a negative impact on local business, according to traders.

In July, the village began the ban on coaches travelling up a section of the high street, in an attempt to ease congestion. The trial is expected to last for 18 months, though some local businesses are reporting a drop in footfall into their shops.

Many businesses suggest the decline is a result of the ban, since the footfall reduction coincided with the start of the trial.

The new set-down location for coaches is a considerable distance from the High Street, and since the majority of visitors to Southwold travelling by coach are of the older demographic, many elderly visitors do not have the time to walk to and from the shops before the coach is due to leave again. As a result, local traders are losing potential customers.

John Alan Windell, mayor of Southwold, has defended the scheme, saying the High Street suffered from gridlock during holiday periods, and something had to be done to combat this issue.

Cllr Windell added a full consultation with local businesses was carried out prior to the ban, and many locals were satisfied with the positive effect on traffic flow.