Popular open-top bus New Forest Tour set to resume as demand expected to soar
POPULAR open-top bus tours of the New Forest are set to resume with anticipated demand prompting the operators to extend the season.
Morebus and Bluestar run the New Forest Tour in partnership with the national park authority and this year it will go back into service from 29th May to 12th September.
It is part of a drive by the NPA to encourage people leave their cars at home. The tour is positioned next to Brockenhurst train station, can accommodate up to three bikes on board, and reduces traffic and carbon emissions.
NPA chair Gavin Parker said: "Covering the length and breadth of the national park, the three scenic routes saved an estimated 61,800 private car miles last year, even on a reduced operating schedule.
"The tour also provides a boost to local businesses; last year, it contributed an estimated £274,800 to the New Forest economy while stopping at local villages and attractions."
Passengers can enjoy an audio commentary about the area and also get discounts at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, the New Forest Wildlife Park, and local businesses in the Go New Forest discount card scheme.
"After a difficult year for us all, we are expecting a large number of people to choose the New Forest as their ‘staycation’ destination,” said Morebus and Bluestar managing director Andrew Wickham.
"This is wonderful news for the area’s tourism industry, and for the New Forest’s retail and hospitality businesses."
The tour runs three routes – green, red and blue – which will run their normal timetables, with minor exceptions. The green route will also travel via Applemore Tesco to allow for connections with Southampton Bluestar services.
Tickets can be purchased at thenewforesttour.info or from the driver.
Further reopenings this week included brewery chain Hall & Woodhouse unlocking the House Martin in Barton, Empress of Blandings in Copythorne, and Beach House at Milford as the easing of restrictions allowed indoor table service.