You can go by bus, by train, on a bike or on foot. It is up to you how to explore the Cairngorms National Park – without the aid of a car – and a brand new publication has been launched to help you.
The Cairngorms Explorer – the first combined timetable for public transport in the Park – has been published by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and designed and distributed by Landmark Press. The publication has been funded by the CNPA with support from the Highlands and Islands Strategic Transport Partnership (HITRANS) and the North East Scotland Transport Partnership (NESTRANS).
This compact A5 colour booklet contains information on bus, train and postbus timetables, including how to access the Park from Scotland’s major centres of population. There is also information on community transport schemes, taxis, the National Cycle Network through the Cairngorms and popular walking routes with maps.
The Cairngorms Explorer aims to encourage people to think about the environment and their own health before embarking on a journey – however long or short in the Park – and to reduce both visitors and residents reliance on cars. According to the CNPA’s Visitor Survey, around 80 per cent of visitors come to the Park by car with only 5 per cent using public transport.
John Thorne, the CNPA’s Economic and Social Development Officer said: “The publication of the Cairngorms Explorer has been in response to business and community wishes to see an improvement in public transport in the Park. Four local authorities and many different operators means a very disjointed service but we aim to highlight to people that with all the information at hand, it is not only possible to get to the Cairngorms National Park by public transport, it is fairly easy to get around it too.”
Andrew Kirk of the Carr-Bridge Tourist Association added: “This is a superb publication and something we have needed for years. It is pleasant to look through, pictorial and of course comprehensively informative. It orientates the reader around the park and makes the best of what transport we have available. It is so much more than just a timetable!”
The Cairngorms Explorer is just one of the transport initiatives being backed by the CNPA. The organisation is helping to fund bike racks on some buses operating on the Cairngorm / Aviemore / Grantown / Tormore service – cyclists should contact local bus operators for more details.
A copy of the Cairngorms Explorer can be obtained from various sources including Tourist Information Centres, travel offices and libraries. Alternatively contact the Cairngorms National Park Authority direct on tel: 01479 873535 / firstname.lastname@example.org. The information contained in the booklet will shortly be available on the CNPA website, www.cairngorms.co.uk.