Will the Island win big in the UK Bus Awards?

Southern Vectis and Visit Isle of Wight could walk away with a top industry
award on Tuesday 19 Nov.

The UK Bus Awards take place tomorrow, where the organisations will find out
if they have won the best Marketing Initiative of the Year.

Playing strongly on the theme of sustainability, Visit Isle of Wight’s key card
scheme, which runs with participating accommodation providers in conjunction
with Southern Vectis, encourages visitors to explore the Island by bus.

The popular scheme has seen an incredible take up by hoteliers working with
Visit Isle of Wight to provide bus transport for their guests around the Island,
instead of using cars.

The aim of the scheme is to cut congestion by taking cars off the road, and
improve the air quality, with many visitors expressing their pleasure at how easy
it is to travel around the Island by bus.

Richard Tyldsley is the general manager at Southern Vectis. He says that the
scheme could be unique in the UK: “I’ve never come across anything quite like this, it is unique as far as we know and it is a really good positive message.

“The number of journeys taken, if they are journeys that would have been made
by car before, that is definitely mileage we have taken off the Island’s roads, so
less congestion, less pollution, better cleaner air.

“If you can come over without your car, that is the ideal solution for air and for
congestion. If you use the bus, we like to think our network covers the vast
majority of the Island for the vast majority of the day, we like to think we’ve got
you covered and the majority of tourists that use our buses, we like to think
we’re hitting that mark.”

Paul Judge is from the Leconfield Hotel in Bonchurch, one of the operators of the
scheme: “We’re very proud to have been part of the initiative, we’ve got guests who have been using it all year, it’s been very popular and I’ve had very very good feedback. I’m grateful to Southern Vectis and Visit Isle of Wight for the opportunity to be a member of this.

“It is a nice add on when they arrive and in many cases they stop using their car
and end up all week using the buses.”

Nicola Rogers is the Sustainable Travel project manager at Visit Isle of Wight: “It’s a project that we always get really good feedback from visitors who love traveling by bus, accommodation providers love it because they can give their guests the opportunity to travel by bus for free so it’s a win-win situation for all of us really.

“The partnership with Southern Vectis is very important, we couldn’t run the
project without them, so it’s fantastic they’re so supportive of the scheme. I think it’s really important to us that we encourage guests to explore the Isle of Wight without a car, obviously for the environmental reasons but also so that they do enjoy more scenery and the views from travelling around by bus because the view from the top of a double-decker bus is just amazing, and you just simply don’t get that by driving a car.”

Wendy Perera, Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Strategy for Isle of
Wight Council said: “The Isle of Wight Council is delighted that Visit Isle of Wight has been shortlisted in the Marketing Initiative category at the prestigious UK Bus Awards.

“The nominated project is proving effective at replacing visitor car journeys with
bus journeys, and the shortlisting is testimony to the hard work of Visit Isle of
Wight, Southern Vectis and Island accommodation providers.

“The Council is pleased to have secured the external funding from the
Department for Transport which made this project possible. Good luck to all
involved at the award ceremony.”

The ceremony takes place tomorrow afternoon at converted cinema in London.