Ouse Washes Travel Survey

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With a grant from the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, I am looking at what sustainable public transport options might be introduced to encourage more people to visit the Ouse Washes and the surrounding areas - by means other than by car. The results of this survey will be incorporated into a report with recommendations for the implementation of various options.

The Ouse Washes Landscape covers an area of rural Fenland with important engineering heritage, and wetland habitats roughly from Downham Market to St Ives and in between March and Ely. It includes distinctive sites like the WWT Welney Wetland Centre, the Environment Agency’s Denver Complex (south of Downmarket Market), RSPB Ouse Washes (near Manea) and RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes (near Fenstanton).  Near to this area, there are also other sites that reflect the Fenland Landscape and heritage like National Trust’s Wicken Fen, Prickwillow Museum and the Stretham Old Engine. There are also a number of other rural tourist/leisure related businesses.

Ouse washes map with stations

 

The area is well-served by five railway stations that enable people from other parts of England and further afield to visit the area. However, access to public transport in the area is variable ranging from a regular guided busway service in the south between Cambridge and Huntingdon to some of the sites not having any public transport at all.

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More details of the study

Heritage and community rail-related tourism funded projects

A host of innovative projects to boost rail-related tourism have been announced in a million pound competition, funded by the UK government.

The projects, based across England, Wales and Scotland, will create great new opportunities for UK and overseas tourists to enjoy the hidden gems of the country’s heritage and community railways.

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Examples of the innovative projects funded by the competition include:

  • extending the heritage line from Chinnor to its former terminus at Princes Risborough station
  • expanding the luxury Pullman services on the North Yorkshire moors, and adapting them for wheelchair users in Sussex
  • developing a new ‘velorail’ in Kidwelly, creating a new tourist attraction, giving visitors the chance to drive a train by pedal power

Further details

New Forest Bus Tour 2016

The New Forest Tour provides a unique open-top bus experience through the New Forest National Park – west of Southampton in Southern England.

New Forest Bus Tour Routes
New Forest Bus Tour Routes

The hourly services will operate from 25 June to 11 September, 2016 with a choice of three routes: Red (the wild northwest), Green (the beautiful southeast) and Blue (the coastal southwest).

From the top deck passengers will enjoy tree-top views of the National Park, with roaming animals, wide open heaths and ancient forest. Special audio commentaries tell the stories of the people and places of the New Forest – with characters, sounds and music bringing the view to life. On the open-top Tours they get a bird’s eye view of the landscape and a better chance of spotting the beautiful animals of the New Forest – including deer and rare birds, pigs and donkeys, and of course the famous ponies.

Bus Tourism in the New Forest, England
Bus Tourism in the New Forest, England

It’s possible to hop-on and hop-off anywhere along the route and catch another bus later on – or switch between Tour routes – all on the same ticket. People can also walk or cycle part of the way and then jump back on the Tour (up to four bikes carried free). There’s a great network of cycling and walking tracks.

The New Forest from an open deck bus
The New Forest from an open deck bus

The New Forest Tour links to rail stations at Brockenhurst, Lymington Pier, Ashurst and New Milton, as well as the main bus connections in Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Lymington, New Milton, Ringwood, Fordingbridge, Ashurst and Hythe. The Tour also connects to Wightlink ferries to the Isle of Wight at Lymington Pier, services to Southampton at Hythe Ferry and the Hurst Castle Ferry at Keyhaven. It’s also easy to reach many of the Forestry Commission’s cycling and walking gravel tracks as well as hotels, campsites and B&Bs.

More details

 

Bike Bus services in Hitrans and Moray linking Health Centre

Bus passengers can now take their bike for a ride thanks to new services launched by Stagecoach, Hitrans and Moray Council in Scotland.

Hitrans and Moray Council.Bike racks have been fitted to buses travelling between Elgin, Kinloss, Findhorn, Forres, Hopeman and Burghead, and local services to and from the new Forres health centre will increase to run every hour droping-off inside the health centre grounds. The £213,000 project which started in 2015 has been funded for two years by Hitrans, Stagecoach, Moray Council and the Bus Investment Fund.

The project will include the introduction of a new Sunday service linking Burghead, Cummingston, Hopeman and Duffus with Elgin, using buses equipped with external cycle racks for adult and childrens’ cycles.

The initiative meets the aims of Moray Council’s Transport Plan and Urban Freedom project in offering increased public transport provision to minimise short car journeys and hence reduce emission levels.

More Information

Inverness to Durness Highland Bike Bus

Operated by D&E Coaches, the Inverness to Durness Bike Bus is something different, offering you the opportunity to take your bike, or just yourself for that matter, to some of the Highland’s most picturesque places without the burden of taking your own car, meaning you can sit back and enjoy the scenery.

DurnessThis is a summer service, operating from May 19th – September 16th, 2016. Service 804 travels west from Inverness, via Strathpeffer to Ullapool and on to Durness, offering both cyclists and the public some beautiful views and scenery.

Transport Scotland Concessionary Cards accepted on this service.

Bikes should be booked 24 hours in advance to guarantee space.

More information

Bus and Bike Loyalty Scheme to get a free swim

Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Complex at Walton-on-Thames is encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprint by cycling or taking the bus to Xcel! Every time you travel to the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Complex on the 564 bus or by bike, show your bus ticket or a proof that you have cycled in to reception and you will receive a stamp on your loyalty card. Once you have completed your card simply hand it back to reception and receive either a free more card or a free swim.

Elmbridge

More information

The European Bike Express

The commercial company European Bike Express, which started in 1993, offers a guaranteed means of safely transporting your bike to France by bus.

European Bike Express

The Bike Express bus pulls a specially designed bike trailer to accommodate bikes of all shapes and sizes, along with all your cycling kit, including panniers and trailers. The service offers two main European routes: an Atlantic Coast route that links Calais to the Pyrenees via Orléans, Tours, Poitiers, Saintes, Bordeaux, Bayonne and Lourdes, before returning north viaToulouse and Agen; and a Mediterranean route that takes in the Alps (Nancy, Lyon and Grenoble) and the Med (Montpellier,Narbonne and Perpignan) before crossing into northern Spain.

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Pick-up and drop-off points in both the UK and France are outlined on the website, where it is also possible to make reservations.

More information

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