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Launch of Laxey Link Bus 31 May 2012

A NEW hop-on/hop-off bus service linking some of Laxey’s main attractions will be launched on a trial basis from Monday, June 11.

The aim is to provide a convenient connection between the upper and lower parts of the village via a route which takes in the Promenade, Woollen Mills, Tram Station, Heritage Shop, Cornmill and Great Laxey Wheel. The Laxey Link Bus, to be operated by Tours (IoM), is being introduced as a result of an idea first raised during the public consultation about the Laxey regeneration proposals. Members of the local community identified the distance between the different shops and attractions, and the steepness of the routes, as a challenge for people visiting the village.

The link bus initiative is supported by the Laxey Regeneration Committee, chaired by Steve Rodan SHK and comprising members of the local authority, private enterprise and the voluntary sector. The Committee has worked in partnership with Tours (IoM), Laxey Commissioners, Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust, and Manx National Heritage in order to launch the new service. It is hoped that the scheme, to be introduced on a four-week trial, will provide an economic boost to businesses in Laxey by encouraging people to spend more time in the area.

The link bus will operate five days a week, Monday to Friday, and run every 20 minutes from 10am to 4pm. It will connect the centre of Laxey, where people arrive by tram, coach or car, with the Wheel, Woollen Mills and Promenade. Temporary signs will show the route and request stops. Bus fares for the full route – with the opportunity to get on and off at any of the stops – will be £1.50 for adults, £4 for families, £1 for senior citizens with a bus pass, and £1 for children.

Steve Rodan said:

‘The Laxey Link Bus is a great idea for Laxey. I am delighted that Tours (IoM) is testing the viability of the bus route for four weeks to see if it works. This is a real partnership between the private, public and voluntary sectors. The Regeneration Committee recognised that the Government Regeneration Scheme is about physical improvements, but we, as a community, could make improvements by implementing ideas such as a bus service to meet the needs of visitors. I hope that Laxey residents will also find this new service very useful.’ He added: ‘I know that some visitors, from the very young to the elderly, have difficulty walking the distances to the Wheel, the Woollen Mills or the beach, so the new bus service will help more people to get to these places.’

Linda McCauley, the Regeneration Manager said:

‘Regeneration is about the community getting behind ideas to make their towns and villages more economically viable. Whilst the Laxey Link Bus is not a regeneration funded project, the Bus is a trail to help support local and Island businesses by getting people to the places they want to go. Visitors will be able to spend longer in Laxey, and we will be asking selected businesses to keep a record of the numbers of visitors during the trial period so that we can measure any increase in numbers.’

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