New hop on, hop off tourist bus
At a full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed to underwrite any potential shortfall for introducing the service, which is estimated to cost £69,100 and will run until October.
Councillor Jim Bryant, the cabinet member for economic development, said: “The bus will start and finish at the National Mining Museum of Scotland and could drop passengers near or at visitor attractions including Dalkeith Country Park, Butterfly World, Boghall Farm visitor Centre and Rosslyn Chapel.
“The Borders Railway is a major opportunity to maximise visitor numbers to the county and boost the economy. We want to make sure we explore every opportunity to do so.”
The proposed timetable will meet the arrival and departure times of trains at Newtongrange.
Tickets for unlimited journeys throughout the day could cost £5 for adults and £3 for children. Concessions will apply.
The council invited tenders to run the service. Prentice Coach Hire is the preferred bidder with a tender of £54,100 submitted. In addition to this cost, marketing the service with special livery and signage, among other costs, would add another £15,000.
Councillor Bryant said: “With potential contributions from our Borders Railway blueprint partners, the visitor attractions and fares, we are pretty confident we can cover the costs associated with offering the service as we know that making it easy for visitors to access our fantastic tourist spots is key to increasing tourism revenue overall.”
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