Salisbury Coach Park closing for four months during makeover

VISITORS getting on and off coaches will have a nicer welcome as works get underway to improve Salisbury Coach Park – but the venue will be closed for four months.

Better facilities and a more pleasant experience are promised by Wiltshire Council as part of remodelling works due to take place at Mill Stream Approach.

The works mean the coach park will be closed from Tuesday, January 2, for approximately four months to enable the remodelling works to be carried out.

Once re-opened, the coach park will provide six coach spaces in the main coach park for drop off/pick up passengers only, while layover parking will provide a further 10 spaces on the Central Car Park, in the area currently occupied by the Environment Agency’s site compound.

The area will also benefit from improved lighting, signage and landscaping, including the planting of native species of trees and shrubs, as well as a small pocket park to the south of the Elai Restaurant.

A welcome space will also be created close to the new footbridge, which will include seating and an information board.

A mural is also underway on the toilet block to further improve the area.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, the council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “I’m really pleased to see the remodelling works are starting in the new year.

“I’m sure people will agree that the current coach park site does not provide a great first impression for people visiting Salisbury and could have an impact on repeat visits.

“For Salisbury to make the most of the visitor economy and be people’s destination of choice, it is important we provide better facilities for coaches to pick up and set down passengers who visit and wish to experience all this historic medieval city has to offer.

An impression of the plans for Salisbury Coach Park. Picture: Wiltshire Council

An impression of the plans for Salisbury Coach Park. Picture: Wiltshire Council

“It therefore made sense for these improvements to be undertaken as part of the Salisbury River Park project and are the last of the big infrastructure activities to be carried out before the project completes next summer.”

She said the work would take place now, in a bid to avoid peak visitor periods.

“We recognise that these improvements will cause some disruption to local people and especially the coach drivers,” Cllr Thomas added.

“We have chosen to carry out these works at the beginning of the year when statistically fewer coach visitors come to Salisbury.

“We would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience during this time, but it will be worth it in the long run.”

During the period the coach park is closed, the only place that coaches will be able to pick up and set down passengers in Salisbury city centre will be:
• Exeter Street, where four free temporary coach parking bays will replace the current car parking area north of Carmelite Way (residents’ parking on Exeter Street remains unchanged)
• The existing coach drop-off bays near the Cathedral on St John’s Street

Coach drivers should not try to set down on any of the city centre bus stops as these are heavily used by local bus service and Civil Enforcement Officers will have instructions to move on any coaches that try to use them, the council said.

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