The re-launch of the open-top Skegness Seafront service has seen Stagecoach East Midlands reap the rewards with a year on year increase of 14.6%, the company has revealed.
The boost in ridership had been down to an innovative marketing plan for the route, says Stagecoach.
For the start of the 2014 season, Stagecoach refurbished the six open top Dennis Tridents which have worked the service for a number of years. Whilst there were no changes to the route or the timetable in 2014, the buses received character-style liveries and all were named.
Stagecoach East Midlands Managing Director Michelle Hargreaves told CBW: “The success of the service has been down to the buses becoming an attraction in their own right and we aggressively marketed the service with story books, incentives and merchandise.”
Several story books were produced during the year and most recently a new title ‘Seasiders Save Christmas’ has been published.
The Skegness Seasiders initiative also secured Stagecoach the Gold Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year at the 2014 UK Bus Awards.
Michelle has now revealed that there are plans to expand the brand for 2015, which will enable the business to further build on the initiative. It also plans to introduce characters on its open top service in Cleethorpes.
As for the Skegness Seasiders, Stagecoach said they are currently having their winter break after a hard working summer. However, they have been seen out and about in the East Midlands area to promote Skegness and the service and most recently at the Lincoln Christmas Market.