The plan’s first steps were to reinstate coach parking, with three spaces installed at Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre last year. It is hoped that Christchurch will be awarded the accredited status, to align it with neighbouring Bournemouth and Poole, which already have the accreditation.
A preliminary audit of the town took place on 27 July, at a meeting attended by John Burch of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, Cllr Mike Greene and John McVey of BCP Council, David Squire, Chair of the Destination Management Board and Tim Lloyd and Sue Harmon-Smith of the Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Following recommendations from Mr Burch, works will now begin to facilitate the plans. There will be a further inspection later on to determine the outcome.
Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability, Cllr Mike Greene, said: “A great deal of work has gone into re-introducing coach parking for Christchurch to enable visitors to our historic town. We hope this is the start of an exciting enterprise that provides a greener way for visitors to travel and enjoy our hospitality.”
Sue Harmon-Smith, secretary for Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce and former tourism manager for Christchurch said: “Coach travel has always been very important to this town’s tourism economy. We’re delighted that we can now offer designated coach parking to further enhance the town’s offering. It is not only the attractions that will benefit but also all those within the hospitality sector such as hotels and restaurants. This will give the travel trade a much-needed boost.”
Chair of the Transport Sector for the Destination Management Board, David Squire, said: “It’s wonderful to have coach parking facilities back in Christchurch town centre following the loss of the bays at Mayors Mead. This helps us to support our vision to bring tourists into Christchurch with all its attractions and numerous hospitality businesses across the area. It’s also a very green method of travelling with up to 40 fewer cars on the road over any given time.”
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