GreenWood Forest Park, North Wales leading family attraction has finally been given the green light to have some brown tourist signs on the A55.
GreenWood Forest Park opened over 21 years ago as an educational centre. Since that time it has developed into a popular family tourist attraction welcoming many thousands of visitors each year. Assisting people with finding the attraction became extremely important to the business, yet it proved to be impossible to get proper signage.
Back when the business opened Managing Director Stephen Bristow applied to have brown tourist signs on the main route into North Wales the A55. This request was denied and he was told of the Guidance for Brown Tourism Signage which stated that an attraction had to have over 500,000 visitors a year in order to get such signs on this road.
As Stephen explains “These rules were developed in England where theme parks can attract several million visitors a year. No attraction in North Wales can expect to attract that many visitors as we do not have the urban populations to support such numbers, but the Welsh Government was unwilling to develop rules that were appropriate for Wales.”
As the years went on Stephen continued to drum up support to change these guidance rules, working through the Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions (of which he is the Chair) and enlisting the help of local AM Alun Ffred Jones.
Finally, and long overdue, the guidance was changed at the beginning of 2014. Stephen once again applied for the signs and this time he was successful. The guidance on brown tourist signs has now changed to allow attractions to have a sign on a motorway if they have over 90,000 visitors and on a dual carriage way if they have over 50,000 visitors. These new regulations are enabling many more attractions to obtain proper signage to enable visitors to find them from the main trunk routes into Wales.
The GreenWood signs are currently being put in place and will be ready for the 2015 season.