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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Bus firm Reays launching service between west Cumbria and Carlisle

Bus company Reays is launching a service between Workington, Maryport and Carlisle, in direct competition with Stagecoach.

The R300/R302 will start on January 7 and provide up to six journeys each way, Mondays to Saturdays.

Most will call at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, providing a direct link to the hospital from west Cumbria for the first time.

Some school-day journeys go via Wigton’s Nelson Thomlinson School for the benefit of pupils travelling from Maryport, Aspatria and Waverton.

Reays says the route will be operated by new, low-emission, easily-accessible, single-deck buses with free WiFi.

The Wigton-based firm has been involved in a heated battle with Stagecoach in Carlisle since it launched the City Hopper network there in 2010.

It added the Lakes Hopper, between Keswick, Grasmere and Bowness-on-Windermere, last summer.

Andy Horn, Reays’ operations manager for City Hopper, said: “We are launching the service from Workington to Carlisle after requests from people in Wigton and west Cumbria.

“They have seen the success of our City Hopper and have been saying, ‘When are you going to have a connection out west?’. We felt it was time to provide a service.

“The direct link to the hospital means that people don’t have to change buses or face a long walk to Wigton Road.

“And we’re bringing buses into the 21st century by providing free WiFi.”

A Weekly Hopper ticket will give one week’s unlimited travel for £20.

There will also be a Double Hopper day ticket for £8 and weekly tickets for Nelson Thomlinson pupils priced at £10.50 from Waverton, £13.50 from Aspatria and £17.50 from Maryport.

Reays already operates a handful of routes in west Cumbria, such as the 35 and 36 from Workington to Cockermouth and the 60 from Maryport to Skinburness.

But these are subsidised services provided under contract to Cumbria County Council.

The R300/R302 is its first commercial venture in competition with Stagecoach.

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