A Bury St Edmunds businessman outraged by the ‘short-sightedness’ of a council’s decision to close the town’s existing Tourist Information Centre (TIC) has started a petition to keep it open.
Arthur Debenham has gathered around 150 signatures for the petition, calling on St Edmundsbury Borough Council to keep the TIC open on Angel Hill.
The 74-year-old has operated guided coach tours for seven years and says tourists dropped off on Angel Hill – Bury’s ‘tourist centre’ – stay mainly in that area.
“For them to have to go to The Apex is ludicrous - they have found the town before they have found the TIC,” he said.
He is also concerned that ‘hubs’ will be unmanned, depriving tourists of the personal contact, he says, they like.
Cllr Sarah Stamp, cabinet member for heritage, arts and leisure, said: “The Bury visitor information service is not closing and the new network will mean personal help and advice is available across the town for the tourist season. We are also looking at having a presence in the Angel Hill area.
“People visit Bury for all kinds of reasons – to see the historic buildings, enjoy the Abbey Gardens and for shopping, eating out and other leisure activities. They also arrive from all directions, so by spreading the information more widely we will be able to help more people make the most of their visit.
“We know visitors are important to businesses in the town centre which is why we want to encourage people to explore the town. We always welcome the chance to talk to anyone who has ideas for how we can improve our service.”
The petition is available at a number of locations around the town, including Susette’s Flowers in St John’s Street and Hair in Brentgovel Street.