Town eyes tourism boost by doing more to bring in coaches

Encouraging coach trips to Sheringham could bring the town an economic boost. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Encouraging coach trips to Sheringham could bring the town an economic boost. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

An economic boost could be delivered to a Norfolk seaside town if it can secure a special status encouraging more coaches to call there out of season.

Sheringham's deputy mayor Liz Withington. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham's deputy mayor Liz Withington. Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Civic leaders in Sheringham are hoping that getting the town coach-friendly status could bring extra visitors to the town, such as people who head to Norfolk in the winter for the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

The town is keen to apply to the Confederation of Passenger Transport for the status.

The status recognises places which are committed to providing facilities, information and an outstanding product to tourists and coach operators.

The scheme looks at signage, parking, drop-off and pick-up locations and facilities such as toilets and places for refreshments.

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The idea is that coach operators are more likely to run trips to the places which have the status.

Sheringham deputy town mayor Liz Withington outlined the bid at a meeting of the Norfolk Bus Forum in Norwich.

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She said: "We are obviously a tourist destination and we know that people who come on coach trips are really important to the economy of our town."

But she said getting the status could encourage more trips outside of the traditional summer season.

She said: "For example, we know that with people coming up for Thursford, they are interested in heading out to other locations and that extends our season.

"But the problem we have is getting coach companies to come to us, rather than, say Cromer or Holt.

"The idea is that, by getting the status, the coach companies know there are a range of facilities for drivers and for passengers, so they are going to have a really good day.

"We are having to look at things like coach drop-off and pick-up points and coach parking.

"We have five spaces for coaches in our car park and we are having discussions with North Norfolk District Council to generate more spaces and possibly bring the prices down."

Ms Withington said a leaflet also needed to be produced to show what was on offer in the town.

She said: "We are pulling everything together and hoping to get our application in, early in 2020."

Other British towns with coach-friendly status include Bournemouth, Windsor and Stratford-upon-Avon.

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