CPT calls for coach-friendly policies at destinations
Responding to a Government review of Destination Management Organisations, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has highlighted that coach-friendly policies at tourist destinations and attractions are essential for kickstarting tourism in local areas across the UK.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic domestic and international visitors travelling by coach contributed £14 billion to the economy each year, with 23 million visits to tourist attractions and places made by coach in 2019. As lockdown restrictions are lifted, coach friendly policies must be implemented in tourist destinations to encourage people back to coach travel to deliver vital footfall to destinations across the UK.
CPT suggests a lack of adequate facilities can deter people from travelling by coach, which can lead to increased car use and associated car parking issues, congestion and air pollution. One coach full of people can take up to 50 visitors to an attraction compared to five in a single car, so introducing measures that encourage more people to travel by coach rather than by car is likely to lead to more visitors overall and a bigger boost to the local economy, according to CPT.
“Going forwards coaches will be vital for kickstarting tourism” – CPT’s Policy Manager, Rebecca Kite
CPT’s Policy Manager, Rebecca Kite, said: “Coach can provide an attractive, convenient, sustainable and flexible way for people to travel the country however coach travel to tourist destinations is frequently hampered by poor access and a lack of appropriate facilities. The inclusion of coach-friendly policies in the independent review of Destination Management Organisations as well as in any future advice offered to government is crucial.
“Going forwards coaches will be vital for kickstarting tourism. Before the Covid-19 pandemic coach travel made a huge contribution to UK tourism bringing much needed footfall to destinations and towns and contributing billions of pounds to the tourist economy as well as supporting local jobs and businesses.”
CPT’s response also highlighted that special consideration should be given to measures that make coach travel accessible and more appealing than travelling by car, with policies that ensure safe areas for passengers to be dropped off and picked up, adequate on-site parking, access to main roads which is suitable for large vehicles, and sufficient facilities for coach drivers.
Rebecca Kite continued: “We know that tourist destinations that prioritise coach travel see increased footfall from visitors travelling by coach, which boosts the local economy and reduces the number of cars on our roads. Going forwards we hope to see coach-friendly policies introduced in other parts of the UK.”