Hundreds of Weston day trippers are coming to Burnham-On-Sea instead because they don’t want to be dropped off in a coach unloading area that’s more than a mile away from the resort’s town centre.
Coach company bosses say the number of trips they run to Weston are at an all-time low because day trippers are being put off by the long walk between the former Tropicana leisure centre and the town centre.
Traders in Weston are calling on councillors to put in a temporary coach unloading bay nearer the town centre to encourage more visitors, says the Weston Mercury.
But in the meantime Burnham is benefiting. Marchant Coaches, which runs trips from Gloucestershire, has seen a fall in the number of customers wanting to visit Weston.
The company has only run 13 trips to the town since January, compared to 22 this time last year.
Trips to Burnham and Brean have risen, with five visits already this year compared to just two during the whole of 2005.
Bosses say older travellers prefer Burnham and Brean because coaches are allowed to drop people off nearer the town centre.
Marchant Coaches spokesman Richard Warburton confirmed: “Burnham and Brean are becoming more popular because you can drop people off by shops and cafes. We’re running less trips to Weston and people are saying it’s because they don’t want to have to walk from the Tropicana.”
Coaches visiting Burnham are able to park for free in Sedgemoor District Council’s car park next to Somerfield supermarket in the town centre.