Passengers can hop on and off where they like, and bring their bikes, to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the New Forest National Park without the hassle of driving, sat nav and map reading. All buses are equipped with fascinating audio guides which include tales of witches, smuggling and salt mining.
The new route has been introduced following continued growth across the New Forest Tour (http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/
Recent figures showed the existing red and green routes of the tour saved an estimated 147,000 private car miles, and contributed an estimated £500,000 to the local economy.
The new route connects with the other New Forest Tour routes at Burley, Brockenhurst and Lymington. New Forest Tour customers can also enjoy free bus travel to and from Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth and Hythe.
All routes run every hour daily from 29 June to 15 September.
Andrew Wickham, Managing Director of operator Go South Coast, said: ‘Go South Coast is thrilled to continue its part in the success of the New Forest Tour. With the introduction of the blue route, our customers will be able to absorb all the sights and sounds of the Forest as well as the coast, with the unrivalled pleasure of an open top bus ride.’
Julian Johnson, chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The New Forest Tour has proved to be enormously successful, making a real difference to the local economy and encouraging environmentally-
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: ‘We are pleased to have been able to play a part in bringing about this third route. This has been made possible with funding from a successful bid by the County Council and the National Park Authority for Department of Transport Local Sustainable Transport Fund monies, to support initiatives that will reduce the impact of traffic on the National Park. The bus has been a real asset for tourism in the New Forest and undoubtedly helps to reduce traffic levels in the National Park as people opt for the bus instead of the car to visit this beautiful area.’
Simon Bransgrove, Marketing Manager at Shorefield Holidays Limited said: ‘Shorefield Country Park is delighted to welcome the New Forest Tour’s new route. The new pick up point and interchangeable route from Shorefield will not only give our customers a grandstand view and direct access to the stunning New Forest and all its attractions, but gives new guests the opportunity to visit our park and all its facilities.’
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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. Simply buy your New Forest Tour ticket on scheduled bus services leaving these locations.
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.
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639