Turmoil over coach parking in Truro

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Truro believes that a shortage of coach parking is causing coaches to go elsewhere as a result of a number of bays being re-allocated for the use of Go Cornwall buses. RICHARD SHARMAN

The South West city of Truro says it is losing lucrative coach business to other nearby towns, reports local news outlet Cornwall Live, after changes to parking in its coach park, which it says are forcing coaches and their passengers elsewhere, with resulting concerns about the economic effect the move has had on the town centre.

Cornwall Live reports that the coach parking area used to be solely for the use of visiting coaches, but around half of the space is not being sublet to local bus operator Go Cornwall, which businesses and councillors believe is resulting in a severe lack of coach parking spaces. The newspaper points out that the council says it has actually increased the number of coach spaces in Truro by allocating space at the city’s Tregurra park & ride site. On occasions, coaches are reported to have blocked a main dual carriageway as there was no room in the coach park.

Local councillor Rob Nolan said: “The sub-letting of Truro Coach Park to Go Cornwall means that it is full of buses, and coaches are unable to safely drop there. The town crier greets coaches and tells me they regularly arrive, find they can’t drop off, and take people off to Falmouth and Newquay instead. We’ve got 20 coaches carrying cruise ship passengers due shortly and are worried we’ll lose these as well.

“Apparently this was something organised during Covid and nobody noticed. Now they very definitely have noticed and retailers are hopping up and down at another blow to the high street.”

He added that the city council had arranged a meeting with Cornwall Council transport officers to discuss the issue and suggested that the local buses should use the park & ride site instead.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “We appreciate the importance to Truro’s economy of both visiting coaches and local bus services which bring many people into the city for both work and leisure. Go Cornwall Bus (GCB) – which operates the subsidised bus network on behalf of Cornwall Council – has made use of space at Truro coach park since 2020. This means drivers can access GCB driver facilities as well as support staff and the Network Control hub.

“The agreement to use the site has recently been formalised with the introduction of new signs and parking bays in the coach park. There are five bays for GCB use, six bays for visiting coaches and another bay for the community bus.

“We have also increased the number of spaces available to coaches visiting Truro and improved the services for coach drivers. There are an additional 10 free coach layover bays at the Tregurra park & ride site with drivers able to use the building’s facilities and park & ride service for free if required after dropping passengers off in the coach park.

“This brings the total number of coach bays available in the city from 11 to 16. We have contacted all local coach operators to advise them of the changes and initial feedback has been positive. The Confederation of Passenger Transport has shared this information with coach operators from further afield and expressed support for this decision. We will consider increasing the number of spaces available if there is a demonstrable need.”