More hikers, cyclists, horse-riders and picnickers are using public transport to travel around the South Downs.
The South Downs National Park attracts some 46 million day visits every year and research suggests that car use dropped by 5 per cent from 2014 to 2015*. In the meantime train, cycling, walking and coach tours all increased.
Watch our film to find out why:
We want to encourage even more people to follow the trend and have an adventure by bus or train in the South Downs National Park this year.
Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive for the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “As one of the easiest National Parks to explore without a car we want to encourage more people to get outside and have an adventure that starts from train stations and bus stops.”
“Already visitors are beginning to see their journey as part of the adventure – we know that small children love taking the bus or train, while adults can relax and watch the scenery unfold instead of having to watch the road or worry about where to park the car.”
There’s an adventure for everyone in the South Downs – from discovering new trails on your bike to finding that perfect picnic spot, heading out on horseback or taking to the skies in a paraglider. Or how about an adventure back in time at an historic house or discovering how wine is made at a local vineyard – and if you go by bus or train you can enjoy tasting it too!
The South Downs National Park Authority works closely with Community Rail Partnerships to promote train travel in the National Park.
Samantha Lear, Community Rail Manager from Sussex Community Rail Partnership which helps promote local rail travel across the county, said: “You might be surprised by how much of the South Downs you can reach by train. Our line guides for the entire network are ready to help people plan their next adventure.”
Find more ideas for adventures in the South Downs National Park and information on bus and train services at www.southdowns.gov.uk.
*Figures come from the South Downs National Park Authority Visitor Survey 2015 published in January 2016. The National Park Authority research comprised 1,018 visitor groups composed of 3,139 individuals. Results showed that although car use remained the main mode of transport it had dropped from 81% to 76%. Meanwhile train use increased from 3% to 5%, cycle use increased from 3% to 4%, foot increased from 2% to 4% and coach tour increased from 1% to 4%.