AFTER four years of agonising and protracted negotiations Midhurst looks set to welcome tourist coaches back to the town in the New Year.
The man behind the negotiations, Steve Morley, told fellow town councillors the prospect of coach parking space being provided was ‘unbelievably close’.
He has been pushing Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council and Stagecoach for help to provide coach parking since valuable space was lost at the Grange car park during the re-development of the new leisure centre.
After the latest meeting with CDC and the bus company he reported to fellow town councillors that the plan was to provide two spaces at the interchange at the bottom of North Street for a trial period of a year.
“Stagecoach had a wholly positive attitude,” he told town councillors.
“The new man in charge David Clerkwell seems to be keen to help the town and I saw a willingness I have not experienced over the last four years.”
He told town councillors the new pilot scheme could happen as soon as the end of January or February.
“But we feel as we have been waiting this long we want to get it right,” said Mr Morley.
He said before the scheme was brought in, he was keen that everyone concerned should know of the new spaces.
“We hope this will go a long way to improving the vitality and viability of the town.
“It has come about because of a change of personnel at Stagecoach and it is a New Year present for the town - we are very, very close to achieving our aim now.”
In addition Mr Morley is discussing with CDC, the possibility of using space in the car park at the Grange on a temporary basis until the future of the site earmarked for a supermarket is decided.
“All in all, I think I can say we will have coach parking in Midhurst next year.”