Devizes has been awarded the accolade of coach friendly town.
The decision was made by the Confederation of Passenger Transport following a visit to Devizes by two of their officials last week.
Tony Aldridge, who owns Rosemundy Cottage Bed and Breakfast in London Road and is a member of Devizes Area Tourism Partnership (DATP), told Devizes Area Board on Monday night: “There are very few towns in the country who have managed to get this award.”
DATP has been working for the past year on wooing coach tours back to Devizes.
It has been said that the lack of public toilets in The Wharf and Station Road car parks – where coach bays are sited – was a major reason for coaches not visiting Devizes.
A key part of DATP’s strategy to attract coaches has been the removal of some on-street car parking spaces in New Park Street for coaches to set down passengers and then move off to The Wharf or Station Road car parks.
New Park Street was chosen because of its close proximity to the public toilets in West Central Car Park.
David Dawson, director of Wiltshire Museum and a member of DATP, said based on official tourism statistics from 2008 he estimated the value of tourism in Devizes to be £30 million.
Simon Jacobs, chairman of Devizes Area Board, congratulated DATP on the coach friendly award.
He said: “This is no mean feat. There are very few towns who have this award and all the work you (DATP) do is voluntary.”