Monday, 30 December 2013

North Yorkshire Christmas Markets 1

Christmas Markets have become popular in recent years giving much needed business to local towns and villages and also coach operators who seize the opportunity to transport visitors to the many locations that are transformed for the Christmas period.
Grassington is a small village located just north of Skipton in North Yorkshire. The village welcomes thousands of visitors over three weekends for their Grassington Dickensian Festival and a well organised routine is put into place that deals with the demands placed on the road system and parking areas.
 Arriva operate shuttles between the village and the car parks.
 Coaches of all shapes and sizes arrive in the village and make their way to the small coach drop off area.

 The coaches squeeze their way through the narrow streets passing the Arriva shuttle buses en route to the car parks

 A York Pullman vehicle approaches the narrow bend in the village road system which is continually controlled by a marshall to ensure two buses or coaches don't meet on the tight corner
 So where do you park 50 + coaches when they have dropped their passengers? In a quarry of course, about a mile or so outside the village. Here we see a Thirlwell Plaxton Elite from Tyneside alongside a Newbury Coaches Volvo.
 Above & below, scenes from the quarry coach park

 The steady flow of coaches continues as a York Pullman Mercedes approaches the village
 More scenes from the quarry. It wasn't the best of days weather-wise, the parking area being  somewhat damp
 Note a glimpse of a police car on the far right of this shot. The officers were on hand to give support to the Vosa inspection staff who were giving vehicles the once over
 I drove one of the last coaches to arrive at the quarry (Henry Cooper Volvo Excalibur) before an overspill area had to be opened. All coaches had a a pre-booked arrival and departure time and we were called back to the village approximately 20 minutes before departure time. The system worked well and a mini bus shuttle was operated throughout the day to ensure that coach drivers could visit the village and all that was on offer to visitors.
After our departure from Grassington our next stop on the itinerary was Bradford where we booked into the Jurys Inn in the centre of the city. Day two would take us to ......another Christmas Market!

David Gambles