More visitors chose to leave their cars behind and travel by bus to one of Northumberland’s most iconic tourist attractions in 2011.
Bosses at Bamburgh Castle have reported a one per-cent increase in the number of visitors travelling to the attraction by bus.
Chris Calvert, administrator at Bamburgh Castle, said: “A one per-cent increase doesn’t sound like a lot, but in reality it is over 1000 more visitors arriving by bus compared to last year. This a move in the right direction and we will continue to work with the AONB Partnership and the bus companies to build on this.”
Mark Ellis, Commercial Manager at Arriva North East said: “This is great news that more people are travelling to the Northumberland Coast’s visitor attractions such as Bamburgh Castle by bus and choosing not to travel by car.
“We’ve worked hard over the past few years to promote our Coast & Castles Connection buses to a wider audience and we’d like to thank our partners such as the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, Bamburgh Castle and Northumberland County Council who have helped us to make this happen.
The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership has been running a ‘visit the coast by bus’ campaign for the past two years. The Partnership has worked with Arriva North East to brand the route used by the 518, 501 and 505 services as the ‘Coast and Castles Connection’ and have produced easy-to-follow leaflets and itineraries for visitors.
Discounts for visitors arriving by bus have also been negotiated with the top attractions on the Northumberland Coast and last year, the North Northumberland Discover and passport tickets were re-launched and are now accepted by Arriva, Glen Valley Tours and Travelsure.
All of these initiatives make it easier and cheaper for visitors to use the bus. Iain Robson from the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership said: “This data shows that our campaign is working. The cumulative impact of more cars and the infrastructure
required to cope with them is detracting from the natural beauty of the Northumberland coast. If we are to conserve this beautiful landscape, the very thing which visitors come here to enjoy, we must reduce the number of cars we have here in the summer. One of these double-deckers can take fifty cars off our roads.
“The support of tourism businesses, particularly in the accommodation sector, is essential if we are to reduce car journeys by visitors. The AONB Partnership will be providing training to tourism businesses in 2012 to enable them to provide better travel information to their customers.”