This morning, Monday 21 June, Marlborough was formally awarded the Certificate in recognition of it’s newly acquired ‘Coach Friendly’ status.
Marlborough has now joined a select group of twenty-three other towns across the UK to achieve this award.
Danny Kruger, Devizes Constituency MP made the presentation, along with John Burch, South West Regional Manager, Coach Passenger Transport, UK, David Andrews (head of Visit Wilts / Great West Way) and Belinda Richardson, Tourism Officer for Marlborough to note this significant achievement for the town.
What does this mean for Marlborough? In short, it means that Marlborough will be visited by many more tourists than would otherwise be the case. To qualify for this status, the town must offer good parking for coaches, somewhere safe to drop of and pick up passengers – both in the George Lane Car Park and in a specific approved area of the High Street, along with good Tourist Information, public toilets, but, most importantly good places to stop for a cup of tea, coffee or buns and cakes and a good range of interesting shops. Marlborough is somewhere that people will enjoy visiting.
Of course, this has a direct bearing on the economy of the town as well, as the greater the number of visitors, the more money will be spent and the better the economic outlook for the town.
Danny Kruger told marlborough.news: “It was a pleasure to be able to present Marlborough with their award for coach friendly status. I hope it will encourage lots of people to visit this wonderful Wiltshire market town. My thanks to Belinda Richardson who was the driving force behind this accolade.”
John Burch, South West Regional Manager, Coach Passenger Transport, UK told marlborough.news: “Since Marlborough is also on the Great West Way we hope that the town will now attract even more coach groups to come and see the wonderful shops and attractions here.”, adding “We are delighted that after several years working with the Marlborough team, this lovely Wiltshire town is potentially now destined to welcome more coach groups. This is great news for our industry which has been suffered a terrible year with the Covid pandemic and we hope that as coach numbers begin to recover more people will discover the delights of Marlborough which becomes the first Coach Friendly award since the pandemic hit the sector last year.“
Marlborough’s Mayor, Councillor Mark Cooper noted: ‘“Achieving Coach Friendly Status will allow Marlborough to attract more coaches and, in turn, their customers will be able to take advantage of all the facilities we offer and enjoy an excellent visitor experience. Environmentally, coaches are one of the cleanest forms of transport and can have a significant impact on reducing congestion. Financially, coaches and groups are a significant market and, for many, an extremely important element in building a buoyant local tourism economy, supporting local traders and turning visitor attractions into successful businesses.”
Belinda Richardson, Tourism Officer for Marlborough told marlborough.news: “We are thrilled and proud to receive this accolade today. Coach Friendly Status is something that is not handed out lightly but awarded to cities and towns that are able to show a real commitment to working with and welcoming coaches to make their towns must-visit destinations. With a current upsurge in domestic tourism, a new cinema due to open in the autumn and our recently built Premier Inn up and running, there has never been a better time for Marlborough to safely welcome groups as Covid restrictions ease.”
Marlborough, its Coach Friendly status, and Tourism Officer Belinda Richardson get more than just a mention in the House of Commons, from Danny Kruger, but also from the Leader of The House, Jacob Rees-Mogg. Below is the text of the dialogue from the floor of The House: