The Hoppa Harlech summer shuttle bus service which will run every 30 minutes to take people from the beach, holiday parks and train station up into Harlech town centre has been welcomed as “great news for the town”.
The pilot service, which will run from July 21 to September 2, may be accompanied by a voucher scheme offering bus passengers discounts in local shops. Harlech Castle is offering to refund the cost of the bus journey if passengers visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Hoppa Harlech service will be closely monitored by Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig to gauge how many people use the shuttle bus.
Councillor Judith Strevens, Harlech Community Council chairman and owner of Castle Gift Shop, said the Hoppa Harlech service was designed to overcome parking problems in upper Harlech by encouraging car owners to park in the long stay car park in the lower part of the town.
She explained that a shuttle bus service was originally run while work was being carried out to the castle visitor centre and now Gwynedd Council is looking at ways to regenerate and improve Harlech.
“The Hoppa Harlech park and ride shuttle service will pick up passengers in the beach car park, stop at Min-y-Don and Castle View Holiday Parks and the train station and then drop them off in upper Harlech,” she said. “Hoppa Harlech will run every 30 minutes and meet the train.
“We have such a problem with parking in upper Harlech that we must encourage people to park at the bottom and then ferry them up into the town.
“We are encouraging businesses to support a voucher scheme to offer passengers discounts in town shops. A feasibility study is being carried out to see if it’s worthwhile doing.”
Tony Bywater, chairman of Salop Leisure, owner of Min-y-Don and Castle View Holiday Parks, warmly welcomed the shuttle service: “It’s great news for Harlech and the people who visit our holiday parks,” he said.
“There are around 260 families staying with us at certain times throughout the season and this service will take them up into the town to spend money in the shops and businesses that will benefit everybody in Harlech.”
Cllr Strevens stressed the importance of Min-y-Don and Castle View Holiday Parks to the town. “They make a massive difference to the town and they are such lovely places for people to come to stay,” she said.
“Salop Leisure is involved in and cares about the local community and it’s brilliant to have them on board with us.”
The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The programme is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. The project is also part funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Gwynedd Council.
For more information, please contact Mr Tony Bywater, Salop Leisure’s chairman, on 01743 282400 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations consultant, on 01686 650818.