Ahead of World Car Free Day this Friday, September 22, Cumbria Tourism has teamed up with Avanti West Coast and Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire to launch a new campaign encouraging people to ‘Go Car Free’ in the coming months.
The campaign has been designed to challenge public perceptions about the Lake District and Cumbria being too far to reach – or get around – on public transport, as well as building back people’s confidence in the rail network following recent challenges.
Amid the cost-of-living crisis, a key part of the campaign will also highlight the affordability of public transport, alongside more active travel options like walking and cycling.
Cumbria Tourism will lead joint marketing activity to positively inspire potential visitors about the range of greener travel options while they are holidaying in the county. It will also highlight the ease and accessibility to the county from big cities like Birmingham (under 2½ hours), Glasgow (under 1½ hours) and London (2½ hours) by rail.
A new online portal at www.visitlakedistrict.com/carfree will help people explore without their cars, showing them how they can make their journeys part of the holiday experience. It includes itineraries for scenic destinations and sustainable accommodation options, as well as special events and foodie experiences to inspire future visits.
The campaign will also feature the development of new video and photography, digital advertising and e-marketing, alongside dedicated PR/influencer activity and targeted advertising at key transport hubs.
There will be a special focus on discounted tickets and concessionary travel schemes, including the current £2 bus fares (then capped at £2.50 for 12 months from November). To promote onward travel connections, people will be signposted to other travel options including scheduled boat services and cycling hire.
Furthermore, when travelling up to the region midweek with Avanti West Coast, visitors can grab Advance tickets from London to Oxenholme from £32 one way, with fares from Birmingham and Glasgow from £17.50 and £13.40 respectively. To take advantage of these fares, tickets should be booked at least 4 weeks in advance.
Cumbria Tourism’s managing director Gill Haigh said: “The run-up to World Car Free Day is the perfect time to encourage people to think differently about all forms of sustainable travel, so they are inspired to sit back and enjoy the ride. Using public transport, travelling by bike or boat and of course, walking, allow us to soak up Cumbria’s glorious scenery, seeing the world around us in a way we simply can’t experience if we always have our eyes on the road.
“We also want to dispel misconceptions about ‘going car free’, and give visitors practical ideas and inspiration to consider new places to explore and things to do when they step off the bus or train. Of course, travelling car-free also gives visitors a practical way to reduce their carbon footprint and do their bit to protect our world-class landscape at the same time.”