CUTTING tourist coach parking spaces in Bourton will only push the problem onto other Cotswold villages, fear business owners.

Andrew Lund-Yates, landlord at the Old New Inn, said smaller villages in the area will suffer or the coaches will park inappropriately in the town if there are no bays available.

The number of coach parking bays at privately-owned Bourton Vale car park has more than halved this year, with just eight remaining.

Next year, businesses say there will be no coach parking provision at all, leaving cafes and shops in the village concerned for their future and calling for Cotswold District Council (CDC) to act.

Many business owners have revealed their frustration as coaches could be banished from the area.

Concerned parties met with MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown at Bourton Visitor Information Centre to talk about the future of coaches in the tourist hotspot. 

Pub landlord Mr Lund-Yates said: "It is going to cause a lot of problems on several fronts.

"Coach travel is still going to come to the Cotswolds, but if you can't park in Bourton, coaches will be parking in inappropriate places, and it will cause traffic issues.

"But if you can't come here, they will go to smaller villages that can't cope with the coaches.

"My business was built in the 1930s the landlord then wanted to attract the coaches travelling out of Birmingham.

"Coaches have been coming here for the best part of 90 years."

Several business owners rely on the tourists who arrive in the area on coaches but fear they will lose out on large numbers of trade if this decision is made.

"Businesses in the village rely on the coach customer, who tend to be the higher spending customers," Mr Lund-Yates said.

"It is a bit of a conundrum."

A spokesperson for Cotswolds District Council said: "The commercial decision of Bourton Vale Parking Ltd to cease provision of coach parking at their site on Station Road will come into effect on 31st December 2023.

"Regrettably, after that date, Bourton-on-the-Water will be left with no coach parking or drop-off points as a result of that decision.

“Since the announcement by Bourton Vale Parking Ltd, we have worked very hard with many local organisations to explore alternative options as part of a stakeholder group. However, no feasible solution has been found to date.

"This is despite reviewing many potential options in and around the village that had been identified by the group."