DAYTRIPPERS can climb aboard a new free bus service that will take them directly to Chester Zoo.
During the summer holidays, the 110-acre zoo will trial a service that will see visitors picked up from Chester’s main railway station and brought straight to the zoo’s door.
The trial service – which has the backing of rail companies Arriva, Northern Rail and Merseyrail – will run every hour and provides a round trip for rail ticket holders.
The 16-seater bus – which has been provided by Chester-based company Busybus – has been designed with animal prints on the exterior. It is envisaged that in the region of 300 people every day will make the six mile round trip on the bus, which has been dubbed Tiger.
The service will run from 9.30am – 6.30pm daily between Saturday July 18 and Sunday August 30. The bus also has wheelchair access.
Simon Mann, Chester Zoo’s Development Director, said: "The summer period is traditionally one of the busiest for the zoo with thousands of people and their families visiting every day during the summer holidays.
"With further developments such as the Natural Vision project planned, we want to look at alternative ways of enabling our visitors to reach us from all over the country using a combination of rail and the bus link further supporting our green travel policy. If this trial is a success, then we could look at making the Chester Zoo bus a permanent service."
The service has been given a financial helping hand from the Merseyrail and Northern Trains to enable it to run during the summer.
Peter Rosenfeld, Managing Director of Busybus, the company supplying the bus, said: "We are thrilled to not only be working so closely with Chester Zoo and the sponsors of this service, but also for the welcomed visitor to our lovely region who can now travel from almost anywhere in Britain via Chester Station to the Zoo.
"We all hope this will be the proving ground for a seamless, efficient and sustainable integrated transport system that can be built upon in the future."