Food voucher bid to win back coaches in Worcester

Worcester News: Councillor Adrian Gregson, the leader of Worcester City Council Councillor Adrian Gregson, the leader of Worcester City Council

DISGRUNTLED coach drivers unhappy with parking rises in Worcester are being tempted back by free food and drink.

The offer comes as under-fire Worcester City Council has pledged to use its website to better promote a scheme giving the drivers £10 to spend in 14 different cafes and pubs.

As your Worcester News revealed last week, coach drivers and a riverside cafe have hit out after the council doubled the charges for them to use Croft Road car park.

More than 20 angry coach firms have signed a protest book at Cafe Severn on the Quay, opposite Croft Road, saying they will take their tourists elsewhere after charges went from £5 to £10.

Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), which represents retailers, says the drivers can get a £10 food and drink voucher from the tourist information centre in the High Street if they use the car park.

The body also says it offers a 'meet and greet' service of its own, where staff can help passengers with directions or specific queries, and publicise events staged that day.

Adrian Field, from Worcester BID, said: "We want to make Worcester an attractive proposition for coaches to come to and entice the operators and their drivers here rather than other towns, cities and garden centres.

"Drivers collect their voucher from the tourist information centre to spend at the participating outlets to spend up to £10, and we heavily subsidise the cost incurred by those outlets so everybody benefits."

Unlike nearby Gloucester, where a similar scheme is publicised on their council's website, Worcester City Council's does not promote it, but it is now being looked into.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, city council leader, said: "The scheme in place is a good one and if there's an issue about promotion and communication we will do all we possibly can to address that."

It comes as Councillor Simon Geraghty, opposition Tory group leader, renewed his call for the parking rises to be scrapped yesterday.

He said: "Everybody can see the impact this is having already, coaches don't like it and it could harm tourism in this city.

"The charges should never have gone up in the first place and if we were in control we'd bring them back down, starting with these unfair coach prices."

Cllr Gregson said doing that would mean extra cuts being made elsewhere, on top of the £1 million already having to be slashed.

Chris Wise, who runs Cafe Severn on the Quay, launched the protest after coach drivers approached him about it.

Comments (10)

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4:25pm Tue 27 May 14

Amber2011 says...

So the council put up the cost and have had to spend money to keep coaches coming in. Does that not mean the council are wasting yet more money? Worcester council is run by idiots
So the council put up the cost and have had to spend money to keep coaches coming in. Does that not mean the council are wasting yet more money? Worcester council is run by idiots Amber2011
  • Score: 9

4:52pm Tue 27 May 14

Shropshirelad says...

This was a council headed by Labour with the Lib Dem councillor recently elected saying that they had done a good job. Tells you all you need to know about both parties. They also put up Council Tax to the maximum allowed after two years of it being frozen. The charge for parking coaches have gone up from £5 to £10 but in all their wisdom and enlightened thinking, they give the coach drivers a £10 food voucher. You just couldn't make it up but no doubt Councillor Gregson can think up some fantasy to justify the unjustifioable.
This was a council headed by Labour with the Lib Dem councillor recently elected saying that they had done a good job. Tells you all you need to know about both parties. They also put up Council Tax to the maximum allowed after two years of it being frozen. The charge for parking coaches have gone up from £5 to £10 but in all their wisdom and enlightened thinking, they give the coach drivers a £10 food voucher. You just couldn't make it up but no doubt Councillor Gregson can think up some fantasy to justify the unjustifioable. Shropshirelad
  • Score: 7

7:46pm Tue 27 May 14

Paul Griffiths says...

The article explains that the £10 voucher is an existing scheme funded by the Worcester BID.
The article explains that the £10 voucher is an existing scheme funded by the Worcester BID. Paul Griffiths
  • Score: 3

9:12pm Tue 27 May 14

Shropshirelad says...

No matter how one tries to wrap this up - it is stark staring mad and, if it had been an "existing" scheme - it should have been stopped immediately. Whatever it is and wherever it comes from - it appears that our Mr Gregson (Labour) is giving it his full blessing. No doubt we can expect more of the same if the Labour/Lib Dem coalition continue to fleece us as the City Council.
No matter how one tries to wrap this up - it is stark staring mad and, if it had been an "existing" scheme - it should have been stopped immediately. Whatever it is and wherever it comes from - it appears that our Mr Gregson (Labour) is giving it his full blessing. No doubt we can expect more of the same if the Labour/Lib Dem coalition continue to fleece us as the City Council. Shropshirelad
  • Score: 2

10:19pm Tue 27 May 14

Samboy says...

I cannot think that the Coach Operators who are to pay the increased parking charges will be amused to find that they are subsidising free meals for their drivers and the cost of the scheme to the Council is sure to be more than the increased return from the charges.
I cannot think that the Coach Operators who are to pay the increased parking charges will be amused to find that they are subsidising free meals for their drivers and the cost of the scheme to the Council is sure to be more than the increased return from the charges. Samboy
  • Score: 4

10:19pm Tue 27 May 14

Samboy says...

I cannot think that the Coach Operators who are to pay the increased parking charges will be amused to find that they are subsidising free meals for their drivers and the cost of the scheme to the Council is sure to be more than the increased return from the charges.
I cannot think that the Coach Operators who are to pay the increased parking charges will be amused to find that they are subsidising free meals for their drivers and the cost of the scheme to the Council is sure to be more than the increased return from the charges. Samboy
  • Score: 1

11:03pm Tue 27 May 14

Paul Griffiths says...

But that's the point I was trying to make. Whatever one thinks of the raised charge (and I'd be interested to know how long it's been at £5) or the voucher scheme, the former is controlled by the City Council and the latter (if the WN article is accurate) by Worcester BID.
But that's the point I was trying to make. Whatever one thinks of the raised charge (and I'd be interested to know how long it's been at £5) or the voucher scheme, the former is controlled by the City Council and the latter (if the WN article is accurate) by Worcester BID. Paul Griffiths
  • Score: -1

12:54am Wed 28 May 14

Jabbadad says...

The answer is to encourage drivers who do have some nfluence as to where they stop to continue to visit our City, just return the parking to £5. not to be smart by using some existing scheme.
Eeven at £10 parking the cost over 60 people is around 17p each so the extra £5 would cost around 8p, not to big a cost eh?.
The answer is to encourage drivers who do have some nfluence as to where they stop to continue to visit our City, just return the parking to £5. not to be smart by using some existing scheme. Eeven at £10 parking the cost over 60 people is around 17p each so the extra £5 would cost around 8p, not to big a cost eh?. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

10:53am Wed 28 May 14

truth must out says...

Got rid of the lorries and coaches, now just need to get rid of the cars and pedestrians and Worcester will be a great place to visit.....apart from all the empty shop premises in Crowngate and St.Martins Gate.
Kermit the frog could do a better job than the bunch of muppets in charge at the moment.
Got rid of the lorries and coaches, now just need to get rid of the cars and pedestrians and Worcester will be a great place to visit.....apart from all the empty shop premises in Crowngate and St.Martins Gate. Kermit the frog could do a better job than the bunch of muppets in charge at the moment. truth must out
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Wed 28 May 14

speak your mind says...

Just reduce the parking charges across the board. Everyone will then benefit not just coach passengers on a one off visit but especially local residents -bread and butter customers who are being penalised - now avoiding the area for maybe 30 plus visits a year
Just reduce the parking charges across the board. Everyone will then benefit not just coach passengers on a one off visit but especially local residents -bread and butter customers who are being penalised - now avoiding the area for maybe 30 plus visits a year speak your mind
  • Score: 1

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