'It would be drastic': Businesses warn Bourton-on-the-Water coach ban could cost millions

  • Andrew Lund-Yates, who owns Bourton-on-the-Water's Model Village, told ITV West Country a coach ban could have a "drastic" financial impact on businesses

Businesses have warned that banning tourist coaches from a Cotswold village could cost traders millions of pounds in lost revenue.

Around 250,000 tourists travel to Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, by coach every year.

Previously, coaches dropped visitors off at a nearby car park. But after the coach parking area closed in 2023, coaches have been driving into the village centre to drop visitors off.

Parish Councillors in Bourton-on-the-Water want to ban coaches from the village centre amid concerns coaches can't safely park and turn around.

Coaches will not be allowed to access Bourton-on-the-Water from the A429 Fosseway into Lansdowne and High Street, as well as into Station Road if the plans are approved.

Parish Councillors argue coaches can't park and turnaround safely in the village.

Andrew Lund-Yates, owner of Bourton-on-the-Water's model village, said businesses will be hard hit if a coach ban is introduced.

"We believe it would be drastic," he said. "If you take the number of coaches at approximately 6,000, we believe that could impact our local economy by between £2 million and £4 million per year."

Simon Cox, General Manager at Birdland, said he is worried fewer children will be able to visit the attraction if coaches are banned from the village centre.

He explained: "Hundreds of school kids come and see us on an annual basis. A big part of our remit as a zoological park is education, and it’s something we want to continue with and grow.

"Of course, school kids can’t come unless they’re on a coach, and subsequently we could see a drop-off in those numbers."

Pulham's & Sons Coaches has been providing coach services in and out of the Cotswolds since 1880. Credit: ITV West Country

Pulhams & Sons Coaches, based in Bourton-on-the-Water, has provided coach services in and out of the Cotswolds since 1880.

Andrew Pulham, a coach operator, said it would be a "crying shame" if coaches were banned from dropping off tourists in the village.

"We’re looking at elderly people here, we’re looking at people perhaps with disabilities, you know there’s a demographic of people there that rely on coach travel and I feel we should be supportive of them otherwise they will no longer be able to take place," he said.

Parish Councillors are due to decide whether to use permanent or emergency traffic regulation orders to stop coaches entering the village at a meeting on Wednesday 3 April.

Any final decision would be subject to a full public consultation and would be implemented by Gloucestershire County Council's Highways Committee.