The Scottish Government-funded bus service to support the Falkirk area’s major tourism drive was officially launched this week at the Falkirk Wheel with the unveiling of its distinctive new bus design.
The new hourly bus service, named The Loop, is funded by Transport Scotland and operated by local bus operator First Midland Bluebird and has been launched by Falkirk Council to boost connections between the area’s world class tourist attractions and other road and rail services over the summer season. The Loop takes in The Falkirk Wheel, Falkirk High and Grahamston Stations, Falkirk Town Centre, Falkirk Stadium, Callander Park and The Kelpies, with dedicated bus stop signs featuring VisitFalkirk branding to help signpost visitors to the route.
Launched as a pilot project that will be in service until 30 September, the route has already carried 5000 passengers since the pink buses were put on the road last month without their final livery and Falkirk Council is set to boost awareness with the launch of a VisitFalkirk outdoor and digital marketing campaign across the summer months.
The launch of The Loop supports a major drive from Falkirk Council, Falkirk Community Trust, Falkirk Delivers, VisitFalkirk, The Helix and Scottish Canals to continue promoting Falkirk as one of Scotland’s most exciting tourist destinations. The service aims to increase accessibility to major attractions whilst encouraging as many visitors as possible to use public transport.
Like all other bus routes in the area, traveling on The Loop is free for those aged over 60 with a valid Scottish Government issued concessionary travel pass and for children aged under 5 years old. For others, an all-day ticket for the ‘hop on, hop off’ service costs only £5, and can be used across other local Midland Bluebird services too.
Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for Transport, Cllr Dr Craig Martin joined Managing Director of First, Paul McGowan and Sarah McKenzie of Falkirk Delivers at the Falkirk Wheel to reveal the brand new design for The Loop buses, which has VisitFalkirk branding and features images of main attractions including The Kelpies and The Steeple.
Cllr Dr Craig Martin said: “Funding from Transport Scotland and First to launch The Loop has enabled the Council to drive forward with its ambitions to make the Falkirk area a top tourist destination. Now there is a dedicated and frequent bus service linking up our main tourist destinations to improve the visitor experience in the area in time for the busy summer season and we are confident that businesses and attractions will benefit as a result.”
Managing Director of First Scotland East and Midland Bluebird, Paul McGowan said: “Visitors to the area will be in no doubt as to what bus to catch to Falkirk’s top destinations with the eye-catching new livery on these buses.
“As the local bus operator, we’ve invested over £1.3million on new buses for the area and these new ‘The Loop’ vehicles represent further great news for passengers.
“I’m delighted to support the launch of The Loop service and we look forward to welcoming passengers on board, taking them from A to B safely and smoothly.”
Source: Falkirk Delivers