Green transport boost for New Forest residents and visitors

New forest tour blue route at milford on sea

Published Tuesday 15 July 2014

Green transport services in the New Forest National Park have been given a further boost thanks to funding from the government.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded Hampshire County Council and partner authorities just over £2m, which will be shared equally to improve car free travel in the New Forest and South Downs National Parks for 2015/16.

The £1m allocation to the New Forest from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) will focus on improving bus and rail services, making it easier for local residents and visitors to travel around the National Park without a car. The funding will help reduce congestion and carbon emissions, support the local economy and protect the area’s unique landscapes and traditions.

The year-long extension will build upon successful schemes developed over the past three years after £3.8m funding from the LSTF programme was awarded to both national parks in 2012. The funding helped support the new blue route for the open-top New Forest Tour, the seasonal Beach Bus linking Lymington, Beaulieu, Lepe and Hythe Ferry, as well as the New Forest Travel Concierge at Brockenhurst rail station, guiding visitors to car-free experiences.  

Proposals for 2015/16 include:

  • A new weekend and seasonal shuttle bus across the Forest between Ringwood and Hythe Ferry
  • Improved bus services for the Bluestar 6 route between Lymington and Southampton
  • A new combined travel ticket for buses and ferries
  • Promotion of rail services between Brockenhurst and Lymington
  • Development of the inclusive cycling programme which provides specially adapted bikes for young people with disabilities or learning needs.

Cllr Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport & Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: 'This extra funding to encourage more visitors to travel to Hampshire’s unique national parks and leave their cars at home is very welcome. It will mean that visitors from within Hampshire and beyond will have access to good public transport information and options to help them plan their days out to the parks, promoting the local economy while helping to reduce congestion at busy holiday and weekend times.'

Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This is very good news. Residents and visitors treasure the New Forest National Park’s rare and beautiful landscapes, its wildlife and commoning traditions, but congestion and pollution created by car journeys threaten these fragile landscapes and reduce the Forest’s tranquillity. Working with Hampshire County Council and partners, this funding will continue the good work to improve public transport and make it easier for residents and visitors to travel without harming the National Park.’  

The £2.053m funding from the DfT will be match funded by £1.046m of contributions and support from local authorities and businesses.

Hampshire County Council's six partner authorities are East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, West Sussex County Council, Wiltshire Council, the New Forest National Park Authority and the South Downs National Park Authority.

Further details on The Two National Parks LSTF programme (2015/16 extension) can be found at


Picture caption: The Beach Bus which was launched last year with support from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

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 to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639

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