Inverness awarded Coach Friendly Status

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Celebrating Coach Friendly City status: L-R Cllr Bet McAllister, Mike Smith (BID), David Haas and Provost Helen Carmichael

Inverness has been awarded Coach Friendly status by a national body, for the warm welcome and facilities offered to coach visitors to the city.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), the trade association representing the UK’s bus and coach industries, has announced that the city of Inverness will be recognised as Scotland’s second,  ‘Coach Friendly’ location at the CPT Scottish Conference on 4 October.

The status acknowledges the commitment made by Inverness to meet the needs of coaches, their drivers and their passengers to the city centre.

The Highland Council, working with Inverness Business Improvement District (BID), has put in place a package of measures to develop Inverness as a ‘coach friendly city’, focused on the creation of a coach drop-off and pick-up point on Ardross Street in Inverness. A Coach Ambassador role was also created with funding from the Common Good Fund and BID.

Provost of the city of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael said:

“This is great news for our ‘City in the Highlands’ which not only prides itself on our ’Highland Welcome’, but recognises the major economic importance of the tourist Industry and the vital part that the Coach Travel Sector plays in making Inverness the fourth most popular destination in Britain. A dedicated coach drop-off and pick-up point supported by the appointment of a Coach Ambassador has greatly enhanced the coach tourism experience for visitors to Inverness.”

She added: “Central Ward Members have been instrumental in ensuring that the new arrangements at Ardross Street are a success and are most supportive of the Award. Congratulations to everyone who has helped to make this happen.”

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Jeremy Tinsley, Manager for CPT Scotland said: “Highland Council in partnership with Inverness Business Improvement District has worked tirelessly over several years to deliver high quality facilities in Inverness for visiting coaches and their passengers. It has made excellent provisions in terms of passenger pick-up, drop-off and coach parking. CPT, drivers and passengers alike are delighted with the service provided by their Coach Ambassadors who offer a true ‘Highland Welcome’.”

Alf Scrimgour, Tourism Executive at CPT and Administrator of the Scheme, confirms: “We were extremely impressed by the way all the stakeholders in the city have pulled together to present a true “Coach Friendly” face to the industry, its vehicles, staff and guests. Inverness clearly acknowledges the value of coach tourism to the City and the region and this Coach Friendly Award is well deserved.”

Mike Smith Manager of Inverness Business Improvement District (BID) said “BID is delighted to have worked with the Highland Council on delivering a successful coach friendly facility in Ardross Street. This dedicated drop off and pick up point will be used by a fantastic 1900 coaches this season – up 18% from 2015. The feedback from coach passengers, guides and drivers is that they all are very pleased with the welcome we have provided for them.”

The presentation of Coach Friendly Status to Inverness will be made at the CPT Scottish Conference on 4th October 2016.

12 Sep 2016
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