The picturesque city of Bath has banned coach parties from driving through its grade I listed areas over fears over pollution.
The Roman baths and 18th century architecture, have caused tourists to flock to the city, welcoming a recrord 6.25 million tourists last year.
Heritage experts have claimed that small city, with a population of only 90,000, was now subject to over-tourism, seeing more than 100 coaches damage both buildings and the environment.
They claimed that tourists often only used the city as a pit-stop on the way to Stonehenge, contributing to global warming, rather than the local economy.
In addition the the ban on coaches, around historic areas such as the famous Royal Crescent, there will also be a £100 levy for coaches wanting to come into the city.
Barry Gilbertson, chairman of the City of Bath Unesco World Heritage Advisory Board, said: “Bath suffers from a large number of coach tourists who spend almost nothing in the city.
“They come from London and essentially pick people up, drive to Stonehenge, where they have to pay, and then come to Bath where they don’t have to pay to get in, and then they might go off to Warwick where they pay to go into the castle and then they zoom off down the motorway to London.
“In Bath these people leave no money, just pollution from their coach. This sounds harsh but it’s true and the current administration is very aware of this. That’s one of the reasons why they want to charge a coach £100 to come into the city.”
Bath is just one of 29 local authorities which the government expects of the greenhouse gas nitrogen dioxide to hit illegal levels by 2021.
In addition to the damage to the planet, the coaches also damage the protected buildings which drives much of Bath’s tourism .
Robin Kerr, chairman of the Friends of Bath Residents’ Association, said new width restrictions were being put in place at the grade I listed Lansdowne Crescent to ban coaches after buildings were hit about once a month by drivers struggling to turn.
“It’s not because we don’t want tourist coaches, it’s because they are damaging the street and they are constantly hitting the buildings. We have plenty of tourists now, we don’t need more tourists but we do need higher grade tourists who will spend more money and stay longer. Let the daytrippers go somewhere else.”
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