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  • Writer's pictureGordon Elliot

Coach trips - For or Against?

Bourton-on-the-Water parish council has voted to restrict the access of coaches to their village after complaints about parking problems and roads being blocked.  Parking spaces for buses were closed in December.  Now the council plans to force drivers to drop off passengers outside the village.  They would then face a walk of up to half an hour to get into the centre.  This has divided the local community.  Residents who are fed up with coaches parking across their driveways are in favour but businesses, fearing loss of income from visitors, are strongly against.

The coach ban will require a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) from Gloucestershire County Council before the restrictions can come into force.  The GCC highways committee will review the proposals on 25 March and their proposals will be presented to the parish council on 3 April.

It is not clear what impact the plan could have on other Cotswold visitor hotspots such as Burford.  Our town council is in the process of seeking its own TRO from Oxfordshire County Council banning buses more than 12 metres long from using the parking spaces on Priory Lane.  It would also designate one of the spaces to “turning only” so that there will be room for the coaches to turn round.

A typical trip from London from Go Tours offers visits to Burford, Bibury, Bourton and Stow in one day, leaving at 8.30am and returning at 5.30pm.  Others include Bampton because of its Downton Abbey connections and Oxford in the itinerary.  The demand for Cotswold tours is unlikely to diminish if Bourton were to be dropped and no doubt tour companies could substitute another place.


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