A senior Bristol City Councillor has warned that the city risks losing tourism and jobs in the retail industry because of a failure to identify and develop coach-parking, according to a report in the Bristol Post.
Former Conservative leader Richard Eddy said he is concerned that the city council has not designated a new coach-park which allows tourists and shoppers to visit the city easily.
He said: “It really is appalling to see the lack of urgency or importance the council apparently attaches to this issue, as the former Anchor Road large coach-park closed in the early 2000’s.
“A small temporary coach-park serving 25 coaches was set-up when Cabot Circus opened its doors, but this closed over a month ago.
“I am told that coach operators find the situation all but impossible, with the ‘Bristol Packet’ ferry-boat business recently revealing there were 10 coaches near the SS Great Britain, revving their engines, wasting time and creating pollution.
“If the city council continues to bury its head in the sand, coach companies and our visitors – who bring many millions of pounds into the local economy – will vote with their feet and choose other locations to spend their money.
“Bristol is fortunate to boast many innovative and fantastic destinations, but can we really afford to be so contemptuous of the vital visitors to our city?
“I understand council officers are trawling for coach-park locations, but their lack of urgency risks killing the ‘golden goose’ which helps sustain the city’s prosperity, leisure industry and retail markets.
“I passionately urge Mayor George Ferguson to intervene and prioritise the hunt for a city centre coach-park before it is too late.”
Peter Mann, Service Director for Transport at Bristol City Council, said: “We fully recognise the contribution coach passengers make to Bristol’s tourism economy. Managing coach parking for visitors coming into the city is something we are working proactively to improve, particularly during the transformation of our transport network.
“We are carrying out a number site assessments to establish the suitability of locations for temporary coach parking. This inevitably requires agreement with landowners which is currently being sought, where appropriate.
“Although some sites have been discounted for safety and logistical reasons, we are confident we will find a short-term solution in the near future. We also remain committed to delivering a long-term, effective solution for the city.”