OTLEY has become only the second official Coach Friendly destination in Yorkshire.

The town was awarded the accolade by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) at a ceremony held on Tuesday, June 4.

Only a handful of other communities across the country - and just one in Yorkshire, Beverley - hold Coach Friendly Town status.

The award recognises Otley’s commitment to ensuring visiting coach parties have access to quality facilities, information and products.

The CPT also highlighted recent moves to boost tourism im the town which have included providing dedicated free coach parking and a coach drivers’ refreshment voucher scheme.

CPT’s Nothern and Yorkshire regions manager Andrew McGuinness, presenting the award at Otley Town Council’s Otley Core office, said: “We congratulate Otley on the award of Coach Friendly Status.

“The town and local businesses work hard to welcome coaches making it very attractive to passengers thanks to its mix of history, great independent shops and a popular market.

“For coach drivers and operators the availability of parking, central pick-up and drop-off facilities and clear signage makes it a great place to visit.

“Well done Otley!”

Also attending were town and ward councillors along with representatives from Otley Town Partnership.

Chair of the town council’s Trade and Tourism Committee, Councillor Paul Carter (Lib Dem, Manor) said: “As one of the gateways to the Yorkshire Dales but only ten miles from Leeds, the historic market town of Otley is increasingly becoming a key tourism destination for visitors to Yorkshire.

“The award of the CPT’s Coach Friendly status demonstrates the value we place on tourism and the benefits it brings to the town, its businesses, residents and visitors.”

Lawrence Ross from Otley Town Partnership added: “Along with our partners at the town council and Otley BID we have worked extremely hard to ensure our town is seen as welcoming for coach groups by developing essential facilities such as free parking, adequate signage and a discounted meal scheme for drivers.

“We hope that our commitment to the coach companies that visit also offers a quality assurance mark to their passengers and other visitors, while providing a boost for local businesses from potential increased visitor numbers.”