AS A Welsh tourist I would like to highlight certain unfavourable aspects regarding Ambleside which I feel need to be urgently addressed.

Last August I was one of a coach party from Wales enjoying a holiday in the North of England. Although a retired coach driver myself, I was not driving on this occasion, but obviously had an interest in the progress of the holiday.

The coach visited Lancaster, Skipton and Settle and found no problems in any of these places. On a subsequent day the coach headed to the Lake District where the party boarded a steamboat on Windermere and sailed to Bowness. After a short stay we re-boarded the coach and headed to Ambleside. This is where the problems arose.

Our very experienced driver found it rather difficult to locate the coach park, and when it was located it was, to be perfectly frank, totally inadequate and much too far from the town. Unlike the superior facilities at Bowness, which were a short distance from all amenities, the Ambleside coach park’s only nearby facility appeared to be a showroom for baths and ceramic goods. Not very useful for holidaymakers!

It was then decided for the coach to exit the “coach park” and drop the passengers off in town. Even exiting wasn’t easy due to the unbelievably sharp angle of the exit point which was partially blocked, entailing several (skilled) manoeuvres.

Failing to find a suitable drop-off point in town, our frustrated driver then found considerable difficulty in relocating the inadequate coach park and ended up on the very congested road leading back to Bowness. It was then necessary to travel two or three miles before a suitable side turning was found to turn the coach back for Ambleside.

Eventually arriving back in the town, a legitimate drop-off point was finally located near to a small bus station. Our driver had been warned that to drop off or pick up passengers at any other point would result in a hefty fine. Very welcoming!

So the whole party, mainly consisting of elderly people, ended up spending less than an hour in a part of the town of no particular interest. The famous picturesque part of the town was completely missed. Even when these elderly people returned to the pick-up point at the required time, no seating of any sort was available to them, not even in the adjacent bus station.

What is wrong with Ambleside? Doesn’t it want tourist coaches? Surely this lack of facilities isn’t going to help those inhabitants who rely on tourism?

My party came away having spent nothing. Nor does it in any way enhance the town’s image. And tourist coaches having similar experiences will be unlikely to return.

David Lloyd