New Forest Travel Concierge guiding visitors to car-free travel around National Park

New Forest Travel Concierge with family

Published Tuesday 27 August 2013

An innovative new service has been launched in the New Forest to welcome visitors and show them they do not need a car to explore the beauty of the National Park.

Combining the skills of a hotel concierge and the London Olympic ‘travel angels’, the New Forest Travel Concierge service will be on hand to greet visitors at Brockenhurst train station, guide them onto car-free journeys and make recommendations about the best places to visit.

The two friendly seasonal staff run a pedal powered mobile unit full of information on the New Forest Tour, Beach Bus and other buses, trains, Twizy electric cars, cycling and walking routes, as well as visitor attractions.

The electrically assisted cargo bike is the first of its kind in the UK. It has a range of 90km before it needs to be charged, making it easy for Concierges Shona Marsh and Beccy Jesson to get to visitor hotspots in the National Park such as campsites and attractions.

In its first four weeks, the travel concierges have helped over 1,600 people enjoy a car-free experience in the National Park.

The Travel Concierge service is run by the New Forest National Park Authority. It is 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.

Chris Gregory, sustainability manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘More than a million passengers use Brockenhurst train station every year, including many thousands of summer visitors. But sometimes it’s not easy for them to find the best way to explore the National Park. Now they’ll be greeted at the station by friendly staff, who will help them see the best of National Park by bike, electric car or the breathtaking views from the open-top New Forest Tour.’

Phil Dominey, stakeholder & accessibility manager at South West Trains, said: ‘The New Forest National Park is a special place, and travelling by South West Trains allows you to relax and gaze out of the window at the unique and beautiful landscape. Thanks to the New Forest Travel Concierge, passengers will be helped to make sure the next stage of the journey or holiday will be just as memorable by sustainable means.’

The New Forest Travel Concierge service will run until mid-September. Find out more at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/travel .

South West Trains are offering a day return, any Saturday or any Sunday from 3 August to 1 September, including Bank Holiday Monday for just £15 (£7.50 for kids). Go away with the family, or with as many friends as you like for £15 each and £7.50 for the kids – to 195 destinations across the South West Trains network, including seven train stations in the New Forest. Visit www.southwesttrains.co.uk/fever  for terms & conditions.

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Picture caption: New Forest Travel Concierges Beccy Jesson (left) and Shona Marsh (right) speaking to visitors at their mobile unit at Brockenhurst train station.

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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