A new way to become a true Cotswolds Discoverer

Coinciding with the start of English Tourism Week, a new way of encouraging more visitors to use public transport to get to, and around the Cotswolds is being launched at Moreton-in-Marsh Station on Friday 28th March.

The Cotswolds Discoverer pass is an integrated bus and rail ticket that provides unlimited travel to and around the area with participating bus and rail operators.

The Cotswolds Discoverer was first tested as a pilot scheme in April 2012 by the Cotswolds Conservation Board in partnership with First Great Western, local bus operators, Cotswolds Tourism and local authorities; following its success the new 2014 scheme will be launched at Moreton-in-Marsh railway station on the eve of the start of English Tourism Week.

Aimed at giving visitors even more options for a day out or short break in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the one-day (£10) or three-day (£25) passes are also great value for money - offering unlimited travel to a wide range of some of the finest attractions, towns, villages, gardens, and historic buildings.

Attending the launch event will be Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who welcomed the new scheme in the Cotswolds: “I am delighted to be here to welcome the launch of the Cotswolds Discoverer. Encouraging a greater use of public transport through this scheme is good news for the environment, rural economy and local communities as well as offering extremely good value for money for both visitors and local residents. I hope that this initiative will be widely promoted and wish it every possible success.”

Cotswolds Conservation Board Director Martin Lane said: “The Discoverer ticket provides a great day out with family and friends and its launch is ideal timing for the Easter holidays. The scheme was established to encourage more sustainable travel options to and around the Cotswolds and reduce the reliance on the car. It also builds on the Explore the Cotswolds by Public Transport guide that the Conservation Board has produced for several years. We are hugely grateful for the support from the bus and train companies and authorities involved and hope that many more people will use it to explore the delights of this popular area in the future.”

Full details can be found at www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk/discoverer

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • The Cotswolds Discoverer pass is valid seven days a week, (excluding rail services before 8.50am Monday-to-Friday) and can be bought at any UK rail station and with participating bus services.
  • Participating operators are: First Great Western, Pulhams Coaches, Cotswold Green, Swanbrook, Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, Johnson’s Coaches and Go Ride CIC.
  • The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape. www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
  • The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members - 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
  • Over 300 Cotswold Voluntary Wardens dedicate thousands of hours of practical conservation work every year across the AONB, as well as lead an annual programme of guided walks and undertake a range of promotional and educational work.
  • The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland. For further details, visit: www.landscapesforlife.org.uk. For details of the 15 National Parks in England and Wales visit: www.nationalparks.gov.uk