Sunny weather boosts New Forest Tour with record passenger numbers

New Forest Tour Burley

Published Thursday 8 August 2013

A record number of passengers have enjoyed the breathtaking views from the top deck of the New Forest Tour this summer.

There were 13,633 passenger journeys on the red, green and blue routes throughout July compared with 9,234 in 2012 – a year on year increase of about 50 per cent.

Passenger numbers have been boosted this summer by the introduction of a new blue route and by July’s sunny weather - the most prolonged heatwave since 2006.

The New Forest Tour is on course to beat its previous best of 34,000 passenger journeys in a year, as historically the open-top buses attract more passengers during the school summer holidays.

The Tour is run by Go South Coast in partnership with the New Forest National Park Authority, contributing an estimated £500,000 to the local economy each year since it started in 2007.

Chris Gregory, sustainability manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘It’s been a great summer so far for the New Forest Tour. The warm weather has helped and we’re pleased with the feedback from customers who’ve enjoyed seeing more of the magical landscape than you could ever do in a car.’

Passengers can hop on and off where they like, bring their bikes and enjoy audio commentary about the history of the New Forest.

All routes start run every hour daily until 15 September.

For more information – including a 10 per cent online discount – visit www.thenewforesttour.info , www.facebook.com/newforesttour or follow the Tour on www.twitter.com/newforesttour

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Picture caption:

The new blue route New Forest Tour calls at one of its most popular stops at Burley.

Notes to Editor: New Forest Tour

In 2012 the New Forest Tour won a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Best Responsible Transport category at the Virgin Holiday Responsible Tourism Awards.

The New Forest Tour follows three routes known as red, green and blue.

■ Green Route: serving Lymington, Beaulieu, Exbury Gardens, Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst

■ Red Route: serving Burley, Ringwood, Fordingbridge, Sandy Balls, Ashurst and Lyndhurst

■ Blue Route: serving Brockenhurst, Lymington, Milford-on-sea, Barton-on-sea, New Milton, Bashley, Thorney Hill and Burley.

New Forest Tour customers can enjoy free bus travel to and from Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth and Hythe on selected scheduled services. Simply buy your New Forest Tour ticket on scheduled bus services leaving these locations.

The red and green routes of the New Forest Tour are commercially run. The blue bus is supported by part of a £3.8m Department for Transport fund to encourage 370,000 car-free journeys in the New Forest and South Downs National Parks by March 2015. The Tour is also supported by Hampshire County Council.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639
Email: sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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