Discounts offered on some bus fares in and around Warwick and Leamington to encourage people to 'rediscover the bus'

The scheme is aimed at tackling air pollution problems in the area

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 5:11 pm
Left to right: Katherine Attreed (Clean Air Warwick), Cllr Jacqui Grey (Warwick District councillor for Myton and Heathcote), Cllr Wallace Redford (portfolio holder for transport and planning at Warwickshire County Council), Dale Burnes (assistant operations manager, Stagecoach Buses Leamington) and Jon Grey (chair of Clean Air Warwick). Photo supplied

Clean Air Warwick in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council are launching a new initiative for Warwick Gates residents.

The pilot scheme, called ‘rediscover the bus’, encourages residents to travel by bus, rather than car, between Warwick Gates and Leamington and Warwick.

To help residents jump onboard with the scheme, the council are offering discounted fares to families and under 19s.

Left to right: Katherine Attreed (Clean Air Warwick), Cllr Jacqui Grey (Warwick District councillor for Myton and Heathcote), Cllr Wallace Redford (portfolio holder for transport and planning at Warwickshire County Council), Dale Burnes (assistant operations manager, Stagecoach Buses Leamington) and Jon Grey (chair of Clean Air Warwick). Photo supplied

Clean Air Warwick are a group of local residents trying to tackle air pollution in Warwick. Their latest campaign ‘Rediscover the Bus’ aims to highlight that public transport is a greener option for travel than the car.

In addition to lowering air pollution, bus travel also reduces congestion on our very busy roads.

Speaking about the reasons behind launching the campaign, Jon Grey of Clean Air Warwick, said: "More than two-thirds of all journeys are under five miles, yet 80 per cent of these are made by car.

"Whilst people are more aware of the impact of cars on air pollution and increasingly choosing to walk, cycle or use the train, the use of buses nationally has continued to decline.

"This is due to a variety of reasons but from a survey we conducted of Warwick Gates residents, they quoted cost and convenience.

"We are launching this campaign in the Warwick Gates and Heathcote area where there are regular bus services into Warwick and Leamington to help residents rediscover the bus as a

great option for those short trips.”

Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, Warwickshire County Council has been committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

In Warwick, 45 per cent of emissions come from transport, which is why the council is keen to support this scheme.

Cllr Wallace Redford, portfolio holder for transport and planning at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Rediscovering the bus as an affordable travel option for those short journeys is a part of our battle against climate change.

"It also represents a really convenient way to keep our towns connected and vibrant.

"Although the issue of air pollution is a global issue, there is much that we can and should do locally.

"Warwick Gates has been chosen to pilot this scheme because of its regular bus services and we will be closely monitoring this scheme for success and lessons that can be learned going forward."

A survey of Warwick Gates residents by Clean Air Warwick earlier this year revealed that one of the key reasons residents do not catch the bus is the cost.

The discounted fares, which are subsidised by Warwickshire County Council, now make catching the bus a more affordable way to travel.

If the scheme is successful it may be rolled out elsewhere in the county.

From July 22 residents can get the following discounted fares:

~ ‘family for a fiver’ - one or two adults travelling with up to three children or three adults travelling together pay £5 for a return

~ ‘kid for a quid’ - Under 19s pay £1 for a single

Discounted fares will be available on Warwickshire County Council listed school holidays as well as on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.

Both Stagecoach and Johnsons bus companies are offering the subsidised fares.

They will be available on the U1, U1A, 77, 77A, 78 and 15 between Warwick Gates and Leamington and Warwick and run for 12 months until July 21 2022.