Conwy fears medieval wall squeezes out tourist coaches

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Car Rental News - 01/09/2011


A Welsh town is worried about lost tourist revenues caused by buses being unable to get through its medieval wall.

The town of Conwy in northern Wales could be suffering because of its ancient town wall. Traders in the town are concerned that tourist coaches and buses might stop visiting the town because of the difficulty they have squeezing through the town’s medieval walls.

The town’s economy depends on tourism and local business people say if nothing is done about the increasing problem, Conwy could suffer the loss of vital revenues. The narrow arches in the wall, which dates from the 13th century, are becoming a bigger problem as buses themselves get bigger.

Three of the main access routes to the town go through the narrow archways but as the town’s chamber of trade points out, today’s coaches are wider and longer than the buses of old. The chamber warned that urgent action was needed on the matter or coach operators could stop visiting the town.

Conwy council says it is working together with coach operators to develop a solution to what is a challenging problem. The problem is said to stem from European legislation, which has let coaches expand in size, while the sizes of the archways haven’t altered for centuries.

The coaches commonly used to ferry tourists around today are roughly a foot wider than those used more than 50 years ago. This has resulted in the town’s official coach park no longer being practical for today’s tour operators.

Coach drivers have developed a range of little tricks they use to deal with the narrow archways. Ultimately, however, traders and coach operators say the town needs a new parking facility outside town and a more-suitable drop-off area.

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