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Stockholm most coach friendly city

Pursuant to its nomination as Sweden’s most coach friendly city in spring, the first European Green Capital, Stockholm, won the global IRU City Trophy 2009 for its exemplary coach-friendly policy.

In particular, the IRU City Trophy’s international jury recognised Stockholm city authorities’ understanding of the economic and environmental potential of coach tourism and travel, as well as the green policy of giving priority to coach tourism, notably by promoting and facilitating city access to visiting coaches. The policy includes:

• Creating parking areas at all city entrances;

• deterring the use of private cars through a congestion tax and enhancing that of public transport;

• allowing tourist coaches to use lanes dedicated to public transport;

• offering some 40 dedicated coach parking spaces close to touristic sites;

• facilitating travel and co-modality through the newly-refurbished, user-friendly coach terminal for travellers, operators and drivers.

Stockholm also received high scores for its exemplary policy of regularly consulting with the coach travel industry on city traffic management, and user-friendly information supplied to visitors, including customised information on coach tour organisers and travel agents.

Graham Smith, Vice President of the IRU and CEO of Heyfordian Travel (UK), said, “By recognising the economic and environmental contribution of coach tourism, cities like Stockholm, as well as the other four IRU City Trophy finalists, by recognising from the outset the economic and environmental contribution of coach tourism, demonstrate to policy-makers and municipal authorities around the world that coaches must be acknowledged for what they are: the greenest, safest, most affordable, user-friendly and, indeed, efficient mode of tourism and travel.”

The IRU City Trophy international jury also commended the excellence of the four other finalists:

 

• Bremen (D), for implementing one of the most efficient coach welcoming and guiding systems in the world, whilst recognising the contribution of coaches in preserving the environment, by not applying the city’s low emission zone restrictions to them;

 

• Southport (UK), for establishing a unique coach, driver and tourist friendly culture and system, resulting in a record growth in coach tourism visits, including during the low tourist season;

 

• Polotsk (BY), for placing coach tourism at the centre of its promotion of the city’s and region’s exceptional cultural and religious heritage, with an unprecedented 70% of over 1 million visitors coming by coach; and

 

• Beijing, for its fast growing potential to become a standard setter in bus and coach transport after the successful organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2008.