All aboard to learn about coastal buses

The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership have teamed up with Arriva North East to offer people working in tourism a free bus journey with a difference next month.

Anyone working in tourism and hospitality is encouraged to come along for a free ride on the Arriva MAX service along the Northumberland coast from Alnwick to Belford. On the trip, people will be able to learn all about public transport in the area so that they can confidently tell their customers how to travel around this summer.

Staff from Arriva and the AONB Partnership will be on-hand throughout the trip providing information about routes, tickets, discounts and the Arriva App. They will be joined by award-winning B&B owner Jeff Sutheran from Seahouses who will be explaining how a good knowledge of local transport can be beneficial to business.

Chris Curtis, commercial manager at Arriva North-East said “Using the bus is a great way to explore the Northumberland coast. Giving people working on the front line in the tourism industry the knowledge to confidently give travel advice to visitors is the aim of the day.

“Arriva North East has listened to feedback and is reducing the cost of some short journeys along the Coast. The summer timetable is also being extended to offer an hourly service along the Coast between Alnwick and Belford from the beginning of May until the end of September”

The North Northumberland Tourism Association (NNTA) will also be unveiling new journey planners on the trip which will be available for people to take away. Jeff Sutheran, Chair of the NNTA said “Surveys have shown that providing easy to follow journey-planning information is a great way of encouraging people to take a car-free day or explore somewhere new.

“There will be a journey planner for each of the major towns and villages in the north of the County and will be available free-of-charge to accommodation businesses and to download from websites. The planners have been funded by a grant from the AONB Sustainable Development Fund.”

Anyone working in tourism or hospitality is invited to join the MAX X18 Coast and Castles service that departs Alnwick Bus Station at 12:02 on Wednesday 26 April. The bus then stops at Longhoughton, Craster, Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh and people can join at any point along the route. Arriva will be providing a light lunch at Sunnyhills Farm Shop at Belford before catching the bus back down the coast, arriving into Alnwick at 16.00.

Image: Arriva MAX Coast and Castles bus at Craster © Iain Robson