The company took gold in the ‘Buses for Leisure’ category, awarded to operators that succeed in persuading visitors to tourist honeypots to use local buses, helping to reduce car journeys, pollution and congestion.
Stagecoach operates 13 routes in the Lake District for the benefit of residents and visitors. Passenger numbers this year are up 12.5% on pre-Covid levels boosted by the national £2 adult fare cap, which remains in place throughout 2024.
We are thrilled to be recognised in what are the industry’s premier awards. We strive to provide the best possible service in the Lake District, working in partnership with the National Park, Cumbria Tourism, and other organisations such as Northern Rail to encourage bus use.
We’ve been more successful than ever this year. We had to print extra copies of our ‘Lakes by Bus’ brochure because the initial print run of 160,000 ran out.Laura Pearson, marketing manager for Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, drafted the company’s entry.
Stagecoach’s initiatives include ‘park & explore’, which incentivise motorists to leave their vehicles in main car parks and use the bus to get around. It also offers combined bus-and-boat tickets for Coniston Water, Derwent Water, Ullswater and Windermere.
New this summer was the Ullswater Hopper Bus, a minibus service in partnership with the Sustainable and Integrated Transport for Ullswater Group, serving areas of the valley previously without buses such as Howtown and Lowther Castle.
Stagecoach has also invested in its fleet to improve passenger comfort and reduce CO2 emissions. In April it introduced nine Enviro 400 double-deckers, at a cost of £3million, on the flagship 555 route from Lancaster to Keswick.
Other recent improvements include dedicated Stagecoach Lakes by Bus branded bus stop flags, the introduction of next-stop announcements on the 555 and a refresh of the onboard commentary on the open-top Lakesider 599 service between Bowness and Grasmere.
The award was presented to Stagecoach by the newly-appointed Local Transport Minister, Guy Opperman, at a gala event at Troxy London.
The latest edition of the Lakes by Bus timetable is available on the Stagecoach website.