VisitBritain announces Group Day Travelcards for group travel in London

Visitors travelling on London’s transport network can now use the new Group Day Travelcards, from Transport for London (TfL), available for purchase online, VisitBritain has announced.

Available for groups of 10 or more people, Group Day Travelcards allow visitors and tourists to use a variety of different modes of transport when travelling in London, and are available online for the first time.

Group Day Travelcards are valid on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services within London fare zones 1 to 6. They can also be used on all London Bus services and on trams.

VisitBritain Commercial Director Carol Dray said: ‘Navigating a new city can be stressful, especially when you’re travelling in a large group, so we’re thrilled to be making this process easier by giving visitors the option to purchase their Group Day Travelcards online and begin exploring London’s fantastic sights from the moment they arrive.

‘The Group Day Travelcard is a ‘must have’ pass for any large group traveling on London’s extensive transport network, which not only offers easy access to many of the city’s attractions but also puts the rest of Britain within easy reach.’

Transport for London Director of Marketing Chris MacLeod said: ‘London is a fantastic place to visit any time of the year. Our partnership with VisitBritain will ensure customers travelling to London can now buy Group Day Travelcards online in advance, allowing them to start exploring all that the Capital has to offer more quickly.’

Group Day Travelcards can be used after 9.30am weekdays as well as anytime at weekends and national holidays at the cheaper price of £8 per adult and £4 per child. This compares with £12.10 and £6 for individual adults and children with a standard Day Travelcard. Groups must travel together when using the Group Day Travelcard.

Available for buying online from the TfL Visitor Shop, which VisitBritain operates on behalf of TfL, visitors travelling in groups can get their cards before their trip and can use them as soon as they arrive in London. Group Day Travelcards are also available to buy from ticket machines at Tube stations across London. Travel trade partners can also purchase these discounted tickets directly on the website, VisitBritain said in its release.

Edinburgh Airport launches new tram system for passengers

Edinburgh Airport has joined its City partners to officially launch the new Edinburgh tram system – a major milestone for Edinburgh’s transport infrastructure.

The new tram system will offer passengers increased choice for travel to and from Scotland’s busiest airport, and will start carrying passengers from May 31. Passengers will be able to get to and from the airport’s terminal and the centre of Edinburgh in just 25 minutes, the airport said.

The first tram will arrive at Edinburgh Airport every morning at 06:15, aimed at helping business travellers reach the airport and board their flights. The first departing tram will leave Edinburgh Airport at 06:18. The 8.7 mile (14km) route stretches from Edinburgh airport to York Place in the city centre, with 15 stops – including Haymarket, Murrayfield and Edinburgh Park train station – along the route.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘This weekend marks the culmination of a huge amount of hard work to get the tram project officially up and running and we’re delighted to be reaching this milestone together with our City partners.

‘We’re committed to offering our passengers choice, not only of where they can fly to, but of how they can travel to and from our airport. The trams will offer customers yet another option and mean people from all over Scotland can travel to Edinburgh Airport faster and more efficiently than ever before.

While Edinburgh has been considering the idea of bringing back trams to Edinburgh’s crowded streets for several years, it was in September 2003 that the project officially set off with the trams expected to be operational by 2009.

Over five years behind schedule, but according to Dewar: ‘The introduction of the tram comes at a time of exceptional growth for Edinburgh Airport and follows the launch of three new major long-haul routes within the last week. Passengers from the US, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and China will now be able to make full use of Edinburgh’s excellent transport infrastructure whether that’s travelling by bus, tram, train or taxi.

‘We’re about to enjoy what will be a phenomenal summer for Scotland and it’s a pleasure to be welcome, and be working with, our new colleagues at Transport for Edinburgh who share our vision of ensuring that our vibrant and exciting capital city remains one of the top places on everyone’s list to visit.’

 

Car Hire Upturn As Olympic Games Draw Near

The demand for car hire has taken an upswing in London for the Olympic games period, even as UK-based government agency, Transport for London (TfL), has advised UK residents in the city to make best use of public transport, bicycles, and walking to reach their destinations while the games are taking place.

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games commence from July 27, 2012, and end on September 9, 2012. Around 150,000 international visitors are expected to be in the city for the world’s largest sporting event.

A UK based car hire company, Carrentals.co.uk, has reported that around 40 percent of its UK bookings have been made for a London pick-up. Around half of all of the company’s bookings that are due for pick-up between July 20 and August 8 have been made by UK residents, which is indicative of the level of interest that the event is generating at home.

The company managing director, Gareth Robinson, said, ‘People are tempted to head to the Eurozone this summer due to the current exchange rates, but Brits are known for their patriotism and being the hosting nation for the Olympics is something people are proud of and want to be a part of. This has been reflected in the booking patterns we’re seeing – the convenience and cost-effectiveness of hiring a car is outweighing the reports of extra congestion in London.

In order to avoid any disappointment, especially for those travelling to London to enjoy the games, it is important to take note of the advice out there and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. We would also suggest checking the opening hours of the car hire desk to ensure you have enough time to drop off your vehicle before your onward journey.’

 

Transport for London Provides Updates on Social Media for 2012 London Games

Transport for London (TfL), a UK-based government agency that is responsible for the transport system in Greater London, UK, has announced that visitors to London will now be able to access live travel information for the city from social media feeds.

With around 125,000 people currently following the agency’s Twitter feeds for transportation information and advice, it will be updating its feeds regularly at its three Twitter handles, @TfLTrafficNews, @TfLTravelAlerts and @GAOTG.

The social media feeds will be providing the latest information and updates on various transportation and road services affecting around 150,000 travellers that are expected to descend on the city for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, commencing later this month.

The agency managing director of marketing and communications, Vernon Everitt, said, ‘London continues its transformation into a massive sporting and cultural venue.

With a million more people here during the Games and a range of different events happening every day, our public transport network and roads will be exceptionally busy.

Our social media tools like Twitter are an increasingly important way of offering people advice and support to help them avoid the travel hotspots.

We’re hoping that the many thousands of people who already follow our service updates on Twitter will make some of our Twitter channels their ‘Follow Friday’ recommendations today and use #GAOTG to join the conversation.’

The agency is offering various tools, including free email alerts to help visitors plan their journeys to the 2012 Games venues; a Temporary Road Changes planning tool for last minute changes; and a Spectator Journey Planner for ticket holders to Games venues.