Tag: coach friendly

‘Coach Friendly’ scheme tops 50

A scheme that encourages UK destinations, visitor attractions and tourism suppliers to become ‘coach friendly’ has welcomed its 51st member.

Organised and managed by the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), ‘Coach Friendly’ status recognises and rewards a commitment to understanding the requirements of coaches and their passengers, while also providing first-class facilities, access and information for drivers.


Coach Friendly
The National Memorial Arboretum near Burton-upon-Trent is one of the latest visitor attractions to be awarded the CPT’s prestigious ‘Coach Friendly’ status.

The scheme, first introduced in 2003 to focus on towns, cities and villages, has now recognised 28 UK destinations. The scheme was extended in 2016 to include visitor attractions. Blair Castle and Scone Palace in Scotland, and the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, were awarded the prestigious status this month.

Destinations and attractions wishing to apply for the status should contact the CPT. The CPT’s regional offices will then visit the destination or visitor attraction to carry out an audit of existing facilities for coaches and groups and, where necessary, make recommendations. It is understood that a number of destinations and visitor attractions are currently going through the process, with announcements due shortly.

For more information, go to www.coachfriendly.co.uk

Recipients of the ‘Coach Friendly’ status

‘Coach Friendly Town, Cities and Villages’ status has been awarded to:
– Rochester (2003)
– Stratford-upon-Avon (2004)
– Windsor (2004)
– Southport (2004)
– Salisbury (2005)
– Scarborough (2005)
– Eden Valley (2006)
– Chester (2007)
– Bury (2008)
– Lichfield (2009)
– Alnwick Castle & Garden (2010)
– Alnwick Town (2010)
– Ironbridge Gorge (2011)
– Cardiff (2011)
– Liverpool (2011)
– Coventry (2012)
– Shrewsbury (2012)
– Chesterfield (2013)
– Burnham-on-Sea (2014)
– Devizes (2014)
– Llandudno (2014)
– Nantwich (2015)
– Perth (2015)
– Blackpool (2016)
– Bournemouth (2016)
– Conwy (2016)
– Betws-y-Coed (2016)
– Inverness (2016)

Since the scheme was expanded in 2016 to include visitor attractions, the following attractions have been awarded the status:

London and South East England
– ArcelorMittal Orbit, London
– Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent
– Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway, Hampshire
– National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, Newmarket, Suffolk
– Woburn Abbey & Gardens, Bedfordshire

– Boundary Mill Stores, Grantham, Lincolnshire
– Boundary Mill Stores, Walsall
– National Memorial Arboretum, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire
– Sabrina Boat, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
– West Midland Safari & Leisure Park, Worcestershire

North East England
– Boundary Mill Stores, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear
– Boundary Mill Stores, Colne, Lancashire

North West England
– Oswaldtwistle Mills Shopping Village & Garden Centre, Accrington, Lancashire

– Blair Castle, Perthshire
– Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop, Dumfries and Galloway
– Scone Palace, Perth

South West England
– The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset
– The Merchant’s House, Marlborough, Wiltshire
– Stourhead (National Trust), Wiltshire
– Wells Cathedral, Somerset

– Parc Slip Nature Reserve, Bridgend
– Talyllyn Railway, Gwynedd

– Boundary Mill Stores, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Inverness becomes coach friendly

The city of Inverness has become the 28th recipient of the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK’s prestigious ‘Coach Friendly Towns, Cities and Villages’ status.

The status acknowledges the commitment made by Inverness to understand and meet the requirements of coaches, drivers and passengers arriving in the city.

Jeremy Tinsley, manager for CPT Scotland says: “Highland Council, in partnership with Inverness Business Improvement District (BID), has worked tirelessly over several years to deliver and provide high quality facilities in Inverness for visiting coaches and their passengers. It has made excellent provision in terms of passenger pick-up, drop-off and coach parking and CPT, drivers and passengers alike are delighted with the service provided by the Coach Ambassadors who offer a true ‘Highland Welcome’.”

Alf Scrimgour, CPT’s tourism executive and administrator of the scheme, says: “We are extremely impressed by the way all the stakeholders in the city have pulled together to present a true ‘Coach Friendly’ face to the industry, its vehicles, staff and visitors. Inverness clearly appreciates the value of coach tourism to the city and region, and this Coach Friendly status is very well deserved.”

Mike Smith, manager of Inverness BID says: “BID is delighted to have worked with the Highland Council on delivering a successful coach friendly facility in Ardross Street. This drop off and pick up area will be used by a fantastic 1,900 coaches this season – up 18% from 2015. The feedback from coach passengers, guides and drivers is that they all are very pleased with the “Welcome” we have provided for them.”

Provost of the city of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael, says: “This is great news for our ‘City in the Highlands’ which not only prides itself on our ‘Highland Welcome’ but recognises the major economic importance of the tourist industry and the vital part that the coach travel sector plays in making Inverness the fourth most popular destination in Britain. A dedicated coach drop-off and pick-up point supported by the appointment of a Coach Ambassador has greatly enhanced the coach tourism experience for visitors to Inverness. Central Ward Members have been instrumental in ensuring that the new arrangements at Ardross Street are a success and are most supportive of the Award. Congratulations to everyone who has helped to make this happen.”

The formal presentation of Coach Friendly Status to Inverness will be made at the CPT Scottish Conference on 4 October.

CPT has also launched a new website giving details of its ‘coach friendly’ initiative. There are details of the recipients of the ‘Coach Friendly Towns, Cities and Villages’ status, and the recently introduced ‘Coach Friendly Visitor Attractions’ status. For more information, go to www.coachfriendly.co.uk

Inverness becomes coach friendly
Inverness has been awarded ‘Coach Friendly’ status by the CPT. L-R – Ward Member, Cllr Bet McAllister; Inverness BID manager, Mike Smith; Inverness City Manager, David Haas; and Provost Helen Carmichael

Conwy and Betws-y-Coed go ‘coach friendly’

The popular north Wales destinations of Conwy and Betws-y-Coed have been awarded the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK’s prestigious ‘Coach Friendly Towns, Cities and Villages Status’.

The status, established in 2003, recognises the work and commitment that towns, cities and villages have made to providing coach operators, along with their drivers and passengers, a warm welcome and easy access to key visitor attractions and facilities in their area.

Neighbouring Llandudno was awarded the status in November in 2014.

Commenting, Alf Scrimgour, CPT’s Tourism Executive, says: “These three tourist locations in north Wales, which are all part of the Conwy Development Board, may all be very different in terms of what they have to offer visitors but they each make every effort to both attract and provide a warm welcome to visiting coach groups.

“I am delighted to see that Llandudno continues to go from strength-to-strength, further improving its offer to coaches and coach parties. Despite being much smaller resorts, Conwy and Betws-y-Coed have shown a real understanding of the requirements of coaches and coach groups by developing suitably located coach parking, pick-up and drop-off points close to key attractions and facilities. I have been particularly impressed by the ongoing commitment of the Conwy Development Board in maintaining and improving the overall offer to visiting coach groups.”

Accepting the status on behalf of Conwy, Betws-y-Coed and Llandudno, Councillor Graham Rees, Chairman of the Conwy Strategic Management Board says: “Coach passenger travel is a growing and valued market segment to the tourism industry in Conwy County, and a vital income source to accommodation and service providers of the county. It provides the county with an environmentally friendly mode of transport for visitors especially as they travel around the beauty spots of the county.

“The value of the CPT Coach Friendly status has been clearly identified in our 2015-18 Destination Conwy Action Plan. We see it as a great honour and are very proud to be the first UK destination to have three of its resorts achieve this status. We will strive to have our other resorts and attractions achieve the required standards to obtain these and similar awards.”

Conwy and Betws-y-Coed bring the number of recipients of the award to 27.

Conwy Castle
Conwy and Betws-y-Coed have been awarded the CPT’s ‘Coach Friendly Cities, Towns & Villages Status’. Conwy Castle stands guard over the town



Gretna Green awarded Coach Friendly Attraction status

Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop has been awarded the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK’s new Coach Friendly Attraction status.

This is the fourth attraction, and the first in Scotland, to receive the status since the scheme was launched at the British Tourism & Travel Show in March. The status was presented to the attraction at VisitScotland expo last week.

Alf Scrimgour, CPT’s Operations & Tourism Executive says: “CPT is delighted to welcome Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop to this new scheme. The status recognises the commitment the attraction has made to making sure that coach parties receive a very warm welcome when visiting. The attraction is obviously extremely well known nationally and internationally and it has never wavered in its commitment to make sure that their offer is second to none. CPT congratulates it on being the first attraction in Scotland to be awarded the new status.”

Commenting on the status, Lynda Denton from the attraction says: “We are delighted to have received this award from the CPT. As an independent family business we very much value nurturing relationships within the tourism industry and a big part of that is not only building close bonds with those who plan tour itineraries but ensuring that we have products and services that their clients find enriching. At the end of the day that is who we all serve.

“We have created experiences for visitors to Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop so that even those that are not here to marry take away special memories of good times spent at our historic and very romantic attraction.”

Previous recipients of the status are Woburn Abbey and Gardens, West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, and Sabrina Boat in Shrewsbury.

Malcolm Roughhead and Lynda Denton. Photo (c) Chris Watt Tel: 07887 554 193 info@chriswatt.com www.chriswatt.com
Lynda Denton of Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop is seen with Malcolm Roughhead OBE, chief executive of VisitScotland. Photo (c) Chris Watt/Cumbria Crack
Tel: 07887 554 193