A scheme to reduce the carbon footprint of visitors to the Isle of Wight has been hailed a double-decker sized success!
Over a 9 month period, 60 Southern Vectis bus passes were given to 20 local accommodation providers, and their guests were encouraged to ditch the car and view the Island by bus.
In total, the bus pass scheme, managed by Visit Isle of Wight, saved 12,000 kilometres of car travel – equivalent to nearly 3 hot air balloons worth of carbon dioxide.
The scheme was managed in partnership with Isle of Wight Council.
Users were asked to complete a survey, and Southern Vectis scored highly, with 99% of users saying ease of access was good or excellent, 95% said reliability was the same and the option of ‘very poor’ was never used.
Zoe Stroud, Visitor Travel Projects Manager at Visit Isle of Wight said:
“In the last year and we’ve had some amazing results and amazing feedback about the bus pass scheme. The results show that visitors are using the passes for a whole day and are totaling up 20 -30 miles in day. It’s been brilliant, some of the users haven’t been on a bus for 30 years, so it’s a great way of getting them to experience our brilliant bus network.
“If you sit on the top deck of a bus, you can take photos and videos and it literally takes your breath away, it’s beautiful, it’s a great way to see the Isle of Wight. Compared to driving a car it is a compelling option.
“Our accommodation partners offering the cards to their guests have received positive Trip Advisor reviews about the project and some have decided to purchase their own cards to offer which is a great extra service to offer the guests.”
Richard Tyldsley, General Manager at Southern Vectis said:
“It’s been an excellent scheme and we’re really pleased to have been working with Visit Isle of Wight on this. Anything we can do to get people to leave their cars at home and travel more sustainably is really worth doing.
“If you’re visiting the Isle of Wight you want to see the sights, you can do that from the comfort of a bus rather than your car. One of the big draws of VIOW and their key messages is ‘drive less and see more’ and really can from the top deck of one of our buses.
“We have seen accommodation providers independently and buying the cards from us to give out as part of their accommodation packages, because there is more and more of a market now of people who want to travel sustainably when they come on holiday and offering that as part of your bed, breakfast and bus package could be really exciting.”
Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, Councillor Ian Ward said:
”This well-received scheme has provided the perfect excuse for tourists to jump on the bus and enjoy the beauty of the Island, providing a boost to our local economy and at the same time, reducing harmful carbon monoxide emissions.”
There is limited capacity for the trial bus pass scheme for hotels and B&B’s on the Isle of Wight, contact the Visitor Travel coordinator at Visit Isle of Wight for more information on 01983 521555