Stagecoach unveils Golden Hop open-top service in Torbay

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Each vehicle has its own animal character associated with it, with Gary the Rabbit adorning the first vehicle to be shown

New character buses to enter service at the end of April

Stagecoach South West has unveiled a new fleet of open-top buses for the Torbay area.

The Golden Hop122 will start on April 29 and run right through the summer season at a frequency of up to every 20 minutes, seven days a week.

The fleet of six buses will connect St Marychurch, Torquay, Paignton and Paignton Zoo. Visitors will be able to hop on and off as often as they like to visit destinations and attractions along the route.

The Golden Hop122 will augment the existing Hop12 and Hop22 services to help meet the demands of the tourist season.

Each Golden Hop bus features a distinctive yellow livery with its very own ‘bus hopper’ animal character. The first bus to be displayed starred the Hop mascot Gary the Rabbit, with the remaining five buses currently being prepared for the start of service.

To further promote the link with local tourism, each ‘bus hopper’ character will also be hosted by an attraction along the route. Children can collect a sticker from the character from the attraction and add it to a free sticker book. Host attractions are members of the Attractions Partnership whose popular ‘passport’ the bus operator also sponsors.

They include Bygones, Dinosaur World, Kents Cavern, Paignton Travelshop, Paignton Zoo and Torquay Museum.

Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be introducing a regular open top service to the Bay.

“Tourism is a vital part of Torbay’s economy and I hope that the colourful, eye-catching buses and family of fun characters will be a hit.”