Drive less and see more is message for coastal visitors

An Arriva X18 Coast and Castles bus at Craster. Picture by Iain Robson
An Arriva X18 Coast and Castles bus at Craster. Picture by Iain Robson

People working in tourism on the Northumberland coast are being encouraged to learn about bus services so that they can confidently tell their customers how to travel.

Arriva has teamed up with the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership to offer a free trip along the coast to anyone who works in tourism.

Staff from Arriva and the AONB Partnership will be on board to provide information about the buses, routes, tickets and timetables and explain how visitors can use the bus to explore the Northumberland Coast AONB. Arriva staff will demonstrate the firm’s mobile-phone app and will be giving out goodie bags and timetable leaflets for the summer service.

Chris Curtis, commercial manager at Arriva North East, said: “Arriva has invested over £1.2million in a fleet of new double-deck buses for the X15 and X18 Coast and Castles services. The buses offer free wifi and have comfortable leather seats with extra legroom.

“Visitors also get a great view of the stunning Northumberland coast from the top deck.”

Coun John Woodman, chairman of the AONB Partnership, said: “Reducing the number of journeys that visitors to the AONB make by car is one of our biggest priorities.

“Car parks in villages and near attractions fill up very quickly and the sheer number of cars impacts on the lives of people who live here and the tranquillity of the area.

“We are encouraging visitors to have car-free days as part of their stay and those working in tourism businesses are best placed to confidently provide good information to visitors planning to travel by bus.”

Anyone working in tourism is invited to join the X18 Coast and Castles service that departs Alnwick Bus Station at 12.02pm on Tuesday, June 16.

People can also join the bus at: Longhoughton at 12.19pm; Craster at 12.33pm; Embleton at 12.43pm; Beadnell at 12.54pm; Seahouses at 1pm; and Bamburgh at 1.11pm.

The tour will stop at Belford for a cuppa at the newly-refurbished Sunnyhills Farm Shop and will return south on the 2.33pm from Belford, arriving back in Alnwick at 3.57pm.

People can join the service at any point along the route. To reserve a place, contact Chris Curtis at Arriva North East by email at curtisc@arriva.co.uk or on 0191 520 4069.