Members of the Town Centre Forum were yesterday updated on the progress of Wrexham’s newly implemented coach parking.
Forum members were told that a coach of 26 Taiwanese visited Wrexham last week as part of the town’s new coach parking service.
Speaking yesterday, Forum Chairman Kevin Critchley said: “The feedback was they had never been looked after so well. I’m sure this is going to grow and we have got to get our act together with coaches.
“I don’t think we will ever be a full day place, but think we will be a drop-off point. The crucial thing we can concentrate on is pampering the tourists and the coach driver, we can add an essential difference to other places.”
The subject of coach parking was one that was a ‘hot-topic’ in the town centre for many months. However in May the coach drop-off point was used for the first time, when a French tour party came to the town to visit St Giles.
Regulars to the town centre may have noticed the new coach signs that have popped up around the town lately, particularly around the High Street and Eagles Meadow. The signage directs coaches to the main drop off point on the High Street and also the pick up point / loading bay on Eagles Meadow which is used as the parking point for the vehicles.
However the new signs have not been met with a positive response by all, with some residents not approving of the new implementation.
Speaking today at the Forum, Council Leader Neil Rogers said: “Some people in Wrexham do not like the signage and do not want it. Some people are quick to talk the town down.”
Cllr Rogers also referenced some negative emails he had received since the signage had been implemented.
Queries were also raised with regards to the Wednesday opening times of the General and the Butchers Markets, with concerns that this may be an issue when tourists visit Wrexham.
The Forum was told market opening times were being looked into and members would be kept updated with progress.
Councillor William Baldwin, one of the original campaigners for coach parking in Wrexham, stated that ‘some of the businesses need to up their game now’.
It is hoped that by Spring 2015, contact will have been made with many of the local and major operators within a two-hour drive time of Wrexham to promote the offer. There are also plans to do a ‘learning journey’ for operators later this year – to provide a first-hand experience of the offer here in the town centre.
Project organisers told Wrexham.com in May: “Demand for a more central coach parking facility in Wrexham Town Centre has been a subject of debate for a while now, and in the absence of a dedicated parking area – Wrexham’s Destination Management Partnership has put in place a drop-off / pick-up zone on the High Street, following an offer from Eagles Meadow to allow coaches to park-up in the loading bays under the centre.”
We are told the overall ambition of the project is to establish a permanent, central parking area dedicated to coaches in the future.