A new bus service is being launched to help mountain bikers travel around the Lake District and sample a variety of the national park’s best riding.
The new service will start on Saturday May 5 and the buses will run at weekends and bank holidays until the summer holidays, when it will run every day from July 16 until August 31 and then weekends until September 30.
The bike and ride service will see specially converted buses, each able to carry up to 12 bikes and riders, travel through the heart of the Lakes along the A591 from Windermere Railway Station to the Whinlatter Forest visitor centre. The buses will stop at Ambleside, Rydal, Grasmere, Thirlspot, Keswick and Braithwaite on the way. Stagecoach has also adapted the open top 599 route buses to carry two bikes, running between Windermere and Grasmere.
The bike and ride bus has been created to make it easier for people to get around more sustainably, with many current visitors using their cars to carry their bikes to where they want to ride, and others put off cycling as an option to explore the area because they think it is too difficult to get around.
Alistair Kirkbride, sustainable transport adviser for the Lake District National Park, said: “We hope the bike bus will become a core service for cyclists and mountain bikers visiting the Lake District.
“Visitors will use the bike bus to get to a new area to explore by bike, getting to the trails at Whinlatter Forest with mountain bikes or for families to access the trails around Thirlmere. It will also people to cycle further distances with the comfort of knowing they can hop on the bus to get back.
“The bike bus will really make it easier for people to get out of their cars for a day of their visit and explore the area on two wheels – and they will see a lot more and have a lot more fun by doing so.”
Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, added: ”We have converted our buses by removing seating to allow more bikes to be carried. This service will make it easier for people to be able to leave their car at their accommodation and explore the area using the greener, and more fun, options of bike and bus.”