Scots national park launches bus between popular destinations to reduce congestion

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority is introducing the Trossachs Explorer in a bid to reduce emissions.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park bus pilot launched in bid to reduce emissions and congestion Supplied

A new bus pilot bringing tourists and locals to popular national parks in Scotland has been launched with hopes of reducing emissions and congestion.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority is introducing the Trossachs Explorer in a bid to reduce emissions as well as combat congestion and parking issues at the popular destination.

The bus is set to run between Aberfoyle and Callander from July 1 to September 30 and will stop at several popular visitor locations on the route, including The Lodge (Queen Elizabeth Forest Park), Ben Venue, Loch Katrine, Ben A’an, Brig o’ Turk and Kilmahog for access to Ben Ledi.

The decision comes after the National Park discovered that around 79% of the millions of visitors each year travel by car.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park bus pilot launched in bid to reduce emissions and congestion.Supplied

As well as reducing emissions and congestion from car travel to the Park, it is hoped that offering car-free travel options will make it easier for visitors and residents without access to a car to enjoy some of Scotland’s most scenic locations.

Services will run seven days a week, with up to eight services a day that have been planned to tie in with services from Stirling and Glasgow to allow visitors from those cities to make the full journey without a car.

The service will allow visitors and residents unlimited daily travel in the Trossachs area of the National Park with a day saver ticket for £5.95. Under 22s and over 60s can also travel for free in line with national policy.

Cordelia Murray-Brown, national park authority youth committee member welcomed the pilot, adding it will give her the “freedom” to explore the area without relying on her parents to drive her.

“For instance, I can get the Trossachs Explorer to Ben Venue and then walk back home to Kinlochard over the hill, this will make the journey much more interesting and manageable.

“I can also meet up with friends to see parts of the countryside I wouldn’t otherwise have access to. The Explorer will further provide me with a route to meet up with my friends from school in Callander which would otherwise be a multi hour trip in terms of buses,” the teenager said.

Gordon Watson, chief executive at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, said the pilot was a “great example” of action for climate that will benefit people and businesses.

“Tackling the dominance of car travel in the National Park is hugely important for reducing emissions but it will also open up leisure, employment and education opportunities for more people, particularly young people and anyone who either doesn’t have access to a car or prefers not to travel by car.

“And we know from businesses in the National Park how important it is to have public transport options for staff,” he said.

“If Scotland is to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030, we need an efficient, inclusive rural transport sector that meets the needs of both visitors and residents.

“This is a pilot project for just one area of the National Park, but it is a step in the right direction.

He added: “We will use the learnings from this initiative to work with partners to develop longer-term more sustainable and active travel options in the National Park, as well as share what we’ve learned with other rural areas.”

James Fraser, chief executive of the Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust said: “Loch Katrine is the birthplace of Scottish tourism and home to great outdoor adventures by bike, boat, and boot in the heart of the National Park but access for many years has been hampered by the lack of public bus services.

“We are therefore delighted the National Park Authority has taken the initiative to introduce this new pilot bus service to help major population centres in the central belt to access popular hills and outdoor attractions in the Trossachs in a more sustainable way.

“This is a much welcome boost to tourism in the Trossachs and I hope the new service will be well supported and is a great success.”

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