16 April 2024
Bourton-on-the-Water coach parking

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown member of parliament for the Cotswolds convened a meeting in Bourton-on-the-Water to discuss the future of coach parking in the parish. He recognised that not all residents are in favour of tourism in the parish, however, they are an essential part of the local economy on which many shops rely. In turn they employ a significant number of people. 

The meeting, which took place on the 27 March, was composed of the chairman and representatives of the parish council, district and county councillors, and the member of parliament. In addition there were two coach operators and a representative, Phil Smith from the Confederation of Passenger Transport, as well as members of the business community. 

The parish council had previously passed a motion to ask the county council to impose an emergency traffic regulation order (TRO) costing in the region of £35k to ban coaches in Bourton-on-the-Water. However, it rapidly emerged at the meeting that it was unlikely to be feasible not only because of the cost but the difficulties of enforcement by the police allowing coaches to drop off at some businesses but not others. 

The meeting then moved on to discuss other solutions including the possible use of the Rissington Road car park which has previously been resisted by the Cotswold District Council and the use of the industrial estate combined with a pick up and drop off point for passengers. The meeting heard from coach operators that Bourton on the Water is one of the in the top 12 coach destinations in the United Kingdom and that coach visitors generate a conservative estimate of £2.5 million into the parish economy. 

The meeting was admirably summarised by the deputy chair of the parish council who said that safety was paramount and there would have to be an element of compromise to find a solution. 

Speaking afterwards Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said: 

“It was urgent that a solution was found so that coaches that arrived in Bourton this summer could drop off and pick up passengers in a safe and convenient manner. After many months of discussion to try and find a solution I believe this meeting has produced a glimmer of hope that all the parties will work constructively together to find that solution.” 

In order to discover what the majority of people in Bourton think about this matter, the MP undertook to conduct a comprehensive survey of all 2100 houses and businesses. The results will be analysed and published.