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Brand new facilities for coach operators in Leicester city centre

Published on Friday, April 28, 2017

BRAND new facilities for coach operators in Leicester city centre are making it easier for groups to visit the city and its attractions.

The city council has converted sections of pay-and-display parking on Charles Street, St George Street and Queen Street into five new coach spaces, which tour operators must book in advance – free of charge – from Visit Leicester.

New pick-up and drop-off points for coaches have also been provided to meet demand from travel companies and coach operators, with new facilities on Causeway Lane, Charles Street, Granby Street, Queen Street and Southgates.

Coach drivers can stop at these sites for up to 30 minutes to let their passengers get on and off.

Amongst those now using the new facilities are Northampton-based Country Lion, whose executive coach dropped off 47 visitors at the King Richard III Visitor Centre yesterday (Thursday), before parking on Charles Street.

Alice Morgan of Country Lion said: “We get a lot of interest in trips to Leicester, with the National Space Centre and the King Richard III Visitor Centre proving popular with our customers.

“We’re delighted that these new facilities are now in place as they’ll make it a lot easier for us to bring groups to the city.”

City centre director Sarah Harrison said: “Leicester’s appeal as a group travel destination has grown considerably over recent years, and coach operators and travel companies expect Leicester to offer them the kind of facilities they’re used to in popular destinations such as York and Stratford-on-Avon.

“I’m pleased to say that we’re now able to provide dedicated parking spaces and pick-up and drop-off points that will make it easier for coach drivers and their passengers to enjoy time in our city.”

Work to create the new bays was carried out as part of the city council’s parking strategy, with the costs of installing signs and road markings for the new facilities totalling around £6,000.

Attractions such as the King Richard III Visitor Centre have boosted Leicester’s appeal as a group travel destination, with the city welcoming 10.36million visitors in 2015.

The value of tourism to the local economy has grown for the seventh consecutive year. Latest figures put the value of tourism to Leicester and Leicestershire at £1.675billion.

Coach travel plays a vital part in Leicester’s tourism industry and is worth around £2.35billion to the UK economy (source: Britain’s Coaches: Partnerships and Passengers).