Brighton & Hove’s unique M25 tour took to the road on Thursday and was hailed a great success.
The 117-mile journey around Greater London cost the 38 paying customers £15 each, and took them clockwise round the road from junction 6 at Godstone in Surrey, after being picked up from Worthing and Brighton.
The trip, which started at 1130hrs, took four hours to complete.
Roger French, MD of Brighton & Hove (B&H), told CBW: “The first official tour was a great success. We have had fantastic feedback from the people who were onboard.
“One couple were saying on the radio that the husband was desperate to go, but the wife really didn’t want to. It turned out she was absolutely thrilled.”
The media has taken to the story quite considerably, with coverage from Sky, BBC, ITV, 5Live and Radio 2, to name but a few.
Roger added: “I have never known anything like it. We literally have had worldwide coverage. It’s just been phenomenal how it has captured the nation.” With the unexpected exposure for the first tour, it’s not surprising to find out B&H is looking to add extra dates to the ones already planned, with April and May dates almost full. Roger believes the publicity has helped UK coach tour operators in general, adding: “You get a little quirky thing and you get so much good will.”
He explained how the idea came about: “A colleague of mine called Simon Ashcroft came up with the idea. He’s a great guy; he was just looking at next year’s programme. We noticed the roadworks on the M25 are planned to be finished before the Olympics, so we thought now would be a good idea to do a tour now so we could show people in Brighton the sights.”
Roger was also keen to praise Nigel Pullen, the tour guide who provided passengers with facts and figures throughout the journey with his deadpan comedic style.
When asked ‘what next?’, Roger mused: “Who knows? We had an idea of taking people round the odd sights of Sussex – cement works, the incinerator. It would be done in a jokey way. Maybe the M60 in Manchester, although it’s a bit far for us. We’re open to suggestions.”