The Beach Bus will return to the New Forest a week earlier this summer – renumbered ‘Route 99’ to highlight its free ice cream offer.
Passengers can claim their ice cream at Lepe beach on the summer service from Hythe to Lymington, which will now run every day from 19 July to 31 August.
Last year nearly 8,000 passengers hopped on board the Beach Bus which is run by operator morebus in partnership with the New Forest National Park Authority, as part of a campaign to encourage more car-free travel in and around the National Park.
Passengers can again buy good value day tickets and enjoy 20% discounts at many attractions on route including Exbury Gardens, Buckler’s Hard, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and a new stop at Lymington’s Sea Water Baths.
There’s also free travel on the Hythe Ferry from Southampton, when passengers buy their Beach Bus ticket in Southampton at the Red Jet terminal.
Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, Chairman of the National Park Authority, said: ‘The Beach Bus makes it easy to access places like Lepe beach and Buckler’s Hard, which for many people could previously only be reached by car.
We’re so pleased nearly 8,000 people chose to ride the Beach Bus last year, and I’m sure thousands more will do so this year, helping take cars off local roads, reduce pollution and the pressure on the National Park’s unique habitats.’
Ed Wills, operations director at morebus, said: ‘The Beach Bus only launched in 2013, but it has quickly become a popular service. More and more passengers are buying day tickets, hopping on and off at several places and making a real day of it. The free ice creams at Lepe have been particularly popular, to such an extent that we’ve changed the bus service number to “Route 99”.’
The Beach Bus is supported by New Forest Ice Cream, ExxonMobil at Fawley and My Journey Hampshire.
For timetables and full details of offers visit www.thebeachbus.info