July 25 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
More signage is planned for Bury St Edmunds to help visitors find their way to new tourist information hubs.
The network of hubs replace the town’s award-winning Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in Angel Hill, which was closed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council last month saving £70,000 a year.
This change in how tourist information is provided in the town has come under fire, with criticisms including a lack of information at the main hub, the Apex, and inadequate signage to direct people to the hubs.
Councillor Sarah Stamp, St Edmundsbury Borough Council cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, reassured people more signs are on the way, admitting there had been a delay with some.
Signs are due to be installed this week on the outside of the hub at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Angel Hill and fingerpost signs to direct people to the nearest tourist information point have been proposed for by the bus station, Auction Street by the junction with St Andrew’s Street South, Gosnold Street by the junction with St Andrew’s Street South and Cornhill where Central Walk comes out by the side of Boots and Sneezums.
Mrs Stamp said: “I would like to assure anyone concerned about the welcome they will receive in Bury St Edmunds that our award-winning team, along with partners across the town, are looking forward to making their visit enjoyable. The town has a huge amount to offer visitors, and we are building on our excellent reputation to give an even better service, both personal and on-line.”
In a letter which was sent to this newspaper this week, Gordon Townsend, from Culford, said the closure of the TIC was a “stupid idea,” describing how he was unable to obtain a list of local bed and breakfast accommodation or hotels from the Apex.
“Somebody needs to get a grip on this situation and fast,” he said.
Mrs Stamp said more time was needed to judge how the transition was going as it was only a month in.
She said the different tourist information venues was encouraging joined-up thinking between the organisations, and added the hubs would encourage people to walk through the town centre and also make the most of the new part of the town.
Consent for the new fingerpost signs is needed from Suffolk County Council.