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Go Lakes Travel

Go Lakes Travel aimed to generate a step-change in how visitors travelled to and around the central and southern Lake District, enabling them to make greater use of sustainable modes of travel. The aim of this was to reduce the impact of their travel on the local environment and community, while also make visitors' trips to the area more enjoyable and relaxing.


Drive Less, See More

It achieved this transformation in visitor travel by:


  • Improving passenger transport and cycle routes, making them more attractive to visitors.

  • Creating a network of pay-as-you-go car and cycle hire points, so visitors can borrow vehicles as necessary.
  • Making paying for and interchanging between different modes of travel easier, though smarter and more integrated ticketing.
  • Making sure that information on all modes of travel to and around the Lake District is clearer and more widely available.
  • Marketing sustainable travel and all of the options to visitors, both before they arrive in the Lakes and while they are on holiday.
  • Improving traffic management and providing a network of recharge stations for electric vehicles, to reduce the negative impact of remaining cars.
  • Ensuring that, as far as possible, local residents and communities benefit from better travel choices too.


This £6.9 million initiative was delivered in partnership by Cumbria County Council, Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria Tourism between 2012 and 2016. £4.9 million was contributed by the Department for Transport's Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The remaining £2 million of match and in-kind funding was contributed by the delivery partners and other public, private and voluntary sector organisations in the region.

Changing Visitor Travel

Amongst other things, the programme helped to:


  • Increase patronage on the Lakeland Explorer bus service by more than 120%.
  • Increase the number of bikes carried across Lake Windermere by ferry by 31%.
  • Increase participation in cycling events by 14%.
  • Provide two new public jetties on Lake Windermere; 100 hire bikes; new and improved bus routes; new bike-bus and bike-boat services; pay-as-you-drive hire vehicles; and a better network of footways, cycleways and bridleways.

During the 2014 visitor season 45% of visitors were aware of the project's public-facing Drive Less See More brand, with 12-18% of visitors more aware of their options for cycling, bus and boat services.


These sustainable transport services and resources are now mainstreamed in to the ongoing work of the Lake District National Park, Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Tourism.


Visit the Go Lakes Travel website


Download the Lake District's Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid