Brixham Chamber Executive are exploring a number of solutions for improving the visitors experience of Brixham and to ensure the rising number of visitors are encouraged to explore all the attractions and heritage sites that make Brixham unique.
It is intended that visitors will be available to navigate around our town easily whether by foot or by car and that this will indirectly generate more income into our town and optimise all the available car parking so that Brixham can create a more unique experience for all visitors, young and old.
Jacqui Shaw, Vice Chair of the Chamber emphasised: ‘It is imperative that we help visitors navigate around our town in a clear way, with the minimum of confusion. This will not only maximize our parking capability for visitors but also the aesthetics of our town as we currently have too many signs which are ineffective and confusing to visitors’.
Following recent discussions with Brixham retailers and after a survey of Chamber members it has been suggested that visitors to Brixham do not find it easy to navigate their way around the town either by car or by foot. In some cases visitors may be unable to find alternative car parks due to lack of awareness and signage.
It is this Chamber member feedback that has prompted Brixham Chamber Executive to look for solutions to address these issues. Brixham Chamber have sought the services and expertise of Martin Smith of Enigma Signs who has a wealth of experience in signage and has worked in the past with local government bodies on road/traffic projects.
Martin Smith was able to present signage ideas at the recent Brixham Chamber of Commerce meeting where members were able to see mock up pictures of sites where the newly designed signage should be displayed to optimum effect. Feedback from all members was extremely positive and they are keen for these plans to be developed and implemented.
It is the intention of Brixham Chamber to work closely with the Councils and BrixhamFuture team on any developments to implement new signage proposals.
- Phase 1: to ensure visitors arriving by car in Brixham will be able to navigate easily around the town to the various car parks and areas of interest.
- It is intended that walking visitors will be able to navigate their way around Brixham more easily and this will follow on from the implementation of improved car park signage.
- Phase2: to address how we attract more visitors from surrounding areas and how we promote Brixham as a “must see” destination and how visitors navigate into and out of Brixham.
Current issues and challenges
Brixham is a small peninsula town with a strong heritage and fishing industry, it is increasingly becoming a tourist destination with a large proportion of day visitors from across the bay.
- Visitors create a rise in demand for more car parking spaces in peak periods.
- There are a number of retailers situated along by the marina who would benefit from increased footfall along from the Breakwater beach.
- The growing number of visitors that are now coming to our local events and festivals increases the demand upon our limited car park spaces
- Pirate festival
- There is a growing perception that many visitors are unable to park due to lack of spaces in Central car park and leave our town without staying or looking for alternative car parking.
- The high cost of car parking may deter visitors from staying any length of time and thus not spend time shopping.
- Perceived difficulty for visitors to navigate around the streets and roads of our town which may impede access to the long stay car park and alternative car parking options.
Future reduction in car park spaces
- Oxen Cove currently provides coach and car parking, however this site is earmarked as a potential site for business development with the aim to attract new business to our town and thus employment opportunities.
- Oxen Cove development will impact on the number of car park and coach spaces available and again reduce car parking capacity even more.
Brixham Chamber Proposal : Signage and associated solutions
- Improved signage to all car parks etc that is easily and clearly seen by visitors entering the town and removal of all other irrelevant signage that distracts, clutters and confuses road users.
- Advertise and promote the Breakwater Carpark more creatively, for instance , “Beach Marina” Long stay car park & Central Car park as “Short Stay Car park to change visitor perceptions and enhance their visitor experience.
- Provide signage in each car park that signposts car users from each car park to alternative car parks.
- Update all signage around the town and harbour with new clearer signage and remove old ineffective signs and remove all “A” boards, tatty and old signs that clutter the streets and make walking around the town unpleasant and difficult for pedestrians and disabled people.
- To redesign and install new car park signage in all car parks, with a large town map sign that shows all Brixham’s points of Interest and a leaflet dispenser that holds small paper maps.
- It is proposed that a large map of Brixham should not be used to advertise shops etc as these change ownership frequently and may only confuse the visitor.
- Small paper maps can be used to advertise current retailers, restaurants etc
It is proposed that the Chamber will explore with local organisations and our wealth of creative artists to design innovative ways to enable visitors to navigate around the town on foot and experience all that Brixham has to offer.
Other local proposals designed to address current issues
- Increase ferry services across the bay so visitors can stay after 5pm, to enjoy our restaurants and bars and travel back later evening in the summer.
- Assess how visiting coaches currently manage passenger drop offs and parking with the aim of improving the scheme by exploring the use of the park and ride facility as part of a longer term solution.
- The current Park and Ride scheme needs to be significantly improved, and the service enhanced with improved signage and removal of all the small inadequate signage.
- Improve relationship with tourist information providers and have greater input about how to access car parking or identify the alternative ways to access Brixham eg Ferry services, buses etc
- Remove free parking for Motorhomes at Furzeham North Boundary Road and replace with only car parking free spaces.
Brixham Chamber would like the agreement, backing and support from the Town Council and Torbay Council to take forward these initiatives and to develop these proposals in partnership with all local community organisations and local government bodies .