A senior Bristol City Councillor has warned that the city risks losing tourism and shopping jobs because of a failure to identify and develop coach-parking.

Former Tory Leader Cllr Richard Eddy, who is his party’s spokesman on the Destination Bristol tourism board, the Harbourside Forum and the Shopping Quarter Forum, is concerned that the City Council has not designated a new coach-park which allows tourists and shoppers to visit the city easily.

Cllr Eddy (Con, Bishopsworth) said: “It really is appalling to see the lack of urgency or importance the Council apparently attaches to this issue, as the former Anchor Road large coach-park closed in the early 2000’s. A small temporary coach-park serving 25 coaches was  set-up when Cabot Circus opened its doors, but this closed over a month ago.

“I am told that coach operators find the situation all but impossible, with the ‘Bristol Packet’ ferry-boat business recently revealing there were ten coaches near the SS Great Britain, revving their engines, wasting time and creating pollution.

“If the City Council continues to bury its head in the sand, coach companies and our visitors – who bring many millions of pounds into the local economy – will vote with their feet and choose other locations to spend their money.

“Bristol is fortunate to boast many innovative and fantastic destinations, but can we really afford to be so contemptuous of the vital visitors to our city?

“I understand Council Officers are trawling for coach-park locations, but their lack of urgency risks killing the ‘golden goose’ which helps sustain the city’s prosperity, leisure industry and retail markets.

“I passionately urge Mayor George Ferguson to intervene and prioritise the hunt for a City Centre coach-park before it is too late.”