New temporary site identified for coach parking in Inverness city centre (07/02/13)

A new location has been identified in Inverness for a temporary drop off/pick-up point for coaches carrying tourists and cruise liner passengers.

Up to eight bays on Ardross Street (on the Northern Meeting Park side of the road) are earmarked for daytime coach parking (between 10 am and 5 pm).

The bays are required to replace those on Union Street, Church Street, and Huntly Street which are no longer available due to works progressing on the River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme and to avoid indiscriminate parking in the city centre, which can cause disruption to traffic movement.

The introduction of the temporary coach parking will require removal of the pay and display bays along the full length of Ardross Street.

Members of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee will consider the proposal when they meet on Monday.  A report to be considered highlights that the benefits of using Ardross Street are the removal of the unofficial system in place, such as using the Ness Bank area; it is easy to locate and access from all trunk roads; it is within easy walking distance of the city centre and attractions; and it is close to refreshment and toilet facilities in Eden Court.

Councillor Ian Brown, Leader of the City of Inverness Area Committee, said it was important to find a temporary solution by the summer.  The experience of the summer usage of Ardross Street would be evaluated to establish if it was a suitable long-term solution.

He said: “Inverness is seen as a hub for tourists. By improving the city’s status as a place to visit, we will attract more coach operators and also bring significant benefit to adjacent attractions such as Loch Ness and Culloden.  The publicity of the city achieving ‘coach friendly’ status will also help the wider Highland economy.

“By making the recommended change now, the City of Inverness will have a sustainable facility which will be a benefit to our tourists, coach operators and the businesses in the centre of Inverness.”

To implement the proposal, the following actions are required to be put in place:

• Agreement from the City Committee that the proposal be implemented.
• A traffic order created for Ardross Street for change of use from pay and
display parking to coach drop-off / pick-up.
• Signage to be installed at suitable and strategic locations.
• Publicity to be produced and widely distributed.

The report also recalls that overnight coach parking facilities in the Longman area of Inverness have been created through a partnership arrangement with D&E Coaches. These secure facilities include:

• Driver amenities in a fully serviced Portacabin.
• A coach wash appliance.
• A toilet drop area for waste.
• Space for overnight parking for 12 coaches.
• Shuttle bus service taking coach drivers to and from hotels.

This facility came in to effect in June 2012 and was well used by coach operators,with 4 or 5 coaches using the facility each  night during the high season.

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