Many coaches visit Wells each year and until now the visitors have arrived with little knowledge of this wonderful city.

Also, Wells tends to be a stopover on a wider excursion, meaning that the visitors only stay in the city for two to three hours and only visit the Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace – missing other attractions and not, importantly, spending money while they are here.

At the end of August 2017, Wells Independents, in association with Wells Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, recruited volunteers to meet and greet visitors off their coaches in the Coach Park. Now 12 regularly do so between 10am and noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This initiative is called Visit by Coach. Visitors are given a map of the city and vouchers for money off offers in retailers across the city. The response has been excellent.

Another issue has been coach drivers dropping passengers off in the bay at the top of Sadler Street which has a number of consequences:

1) This causes traffic jams when more than one coach is doing so

2) Foreign coaches have their doors open onto the road therefore causing a safety hazard

3) Visitors dropped off here make their way across to the Cathedral, do a tour of it, probably walk into the free-access Bishop’s Palace grounds, then make their way back to Sadler Street thereby missing many other attractions the City has to offer – Vicars Close, the Harry Patch Memorial, Museum, Market Place, Town Hall, Mary Rand Gold Medal Jump, etc.

Before – Clogged streets and quick visits.

before Visit by Coach, Wells

Since our ‘meet and greet’ began, the majority of coach drivers have expressed the wish to drop off at the Coach Park on Princes Road in the future as they understand that their passengers will have a better visitor experience by doing so.

Before ‘meet and greet’ was launched, 64% used Sadler Street and now this percentage has been reversed with close to 70% now using the Coach Park.

After – Safer streets and visitors stay longer and spend more money in the city.

The unattached hand in this video belongs to Ross Young of Wells Independents interviewing a coach driver in the city.
This is part of an initiative where Wells Independents are working with Wells Chamber of Commerce and tourism to persuade coach drivers to park at the Coach Station off Princes Road, Wells.
Then the tourists will walk through the city centre and spend more time and money in Wells – rather than being dropped off in Sadler Street to have a quick look at the cathedral and Bishop’s Palace before being whisked off to Clarks Village in Street.
The initiative is called Visit by Coach.