This week (4 to 10 July) is Catch the Bus Week, an event organised by Greener Journeys in an effort to raise awareness of the economic, environmental and social benefits of taking the bus. A number of operators are running a range of competitions, offers and promotions in support of the initiative. Other organisations are taking part too, with such events as a poetry competition at schools in Wales about why children love the bus, to a challenge to all County Councillors in Somerset to take the bus during the week.
Stagecoach in South Wales is one of the companies joining in, with a programme of promotional activities across its area. These will include a Twitter picture competition, Tweets of ideas of destinations to travel, attending the Cardiff Bus Surgery to promote bus use, ‘Meet the bus’ days (seeing the operator distribute information about services and offering discounted travel) and a ‘Seven Days of Travel’ promotion on Twitter. Thamesdown Transport will be giving away five four-week TravelPasses on Twitter.
Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, Claire Haigh, is travelling across the country to support the initiative. She said, ‘Once again, we are delighted to see the entire bus sector coming together to promote the benefits of the bus. From dance troupes on buses, to radio show broadcasts live from the top deck, we are always bowled over by the sheer breadth and scale of the creativity on show during the week, and 2016 is proving to be no different. There isn’t a single area of our daily lives that doesn’t in some way depend on the bus so it is fantastic to see its worth celebrated in such extravagant fashion.’
Buses Minister, Andrew Jones, said, ‘Good bus services help people get around and get on. Bus services do the hard yards delivering more than 4.5bn passengers to their destination each year, which is more than any other form of public transport. Catch the Bus Week is an excellent initiative and, as a bus user, I know that drivers do an excellent job often in sometimes stressful situations getting people from A to B. Bus companies, councils and government have worked hard to improve services bringing in new modern, cleaner and greener vehicles and smart ticketing to make travel easier and I would encourage people who have not caught the bus for a while to give it another go.’
As part of Catch the Bus Week 2016, First Huddersfield has refreshed its Holme Valley bus network. It was launched by the Member of Parliament for Colne Valley, Jason McCartney. Over £50,000 has been invested in the fleet of 12 buses to deliver upgraded seating, free Wi-Fi and a fresh livery. The Holme Valley Connection network serves the Holmfirth and Meltham areas on routes 308, 310, 314, 316 and 324. As part of the launch, First Huddersfield has also extended the boundary of the local Huddersfield weekly ticket from Netherton to Meltham, giving more people access to Huddersfield for £12.50 for seven days unlimited travel.