Sandhopper logo 2The Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnership has been working hard over the last year to secure funding from partners for a much needed Community Rail Bus link from Sandown station into Sandown town, the beach and attractions making life easier for Island Line passengers visiting the Island and the town.

The ‘Sandhopper’ bus is starting this year as a half hourly Saturday service from the Station forecourt and its first journey will be Saturday 5th April, launched by the Mayor of Sandown at 2 p.m. It finishes in October, after the summer season as the Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnership would like the benefit to be extended to out of season tourists, keen to visit and have a seamless journey from station to town. For a copy of the full timetable, click here (PDF file – opens in new window).

The artwork and logos to promote the Sandhopper, have been designed as part of a competition entered by all pupils at The Bay C of E Primary School in Sandown and the winning designs are being used as part of an extensive advertising campaign on both the Island and mainland from Waterloo to Portsmouth to encourage tourists to take a day trip to the seaside or for a longer holiday.

The winners of the competition will be receiving some exciting prizes at a celebration assembly at the school, today, Friday, first prize being ferry and 1st class South West Train travel and family tickets to see the West End performance of ‘Stomp’ in London!  The project has been funded by the Designated Community Rail Development Fund (DCRDF) Sandown Town Council, Dinosaur Isle, and the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) from the Isle of Wight Council, Key West Glass and Sandown Business Association. The CRP and its stakeholders as well as the partners supporting this project are delighted that this link is in place to help support visitors to the Island and town which if proving popular will be extended to a weekend service next year.

The CRP Stakeholders are Island Line Trains, South West Trains, Wightlink, Hovertravel, Southern Vectis, Isle of Wight Steam Railway, the Isle of Wight Council, Ryde, Brading, Sandown and Shanklin Town Councils.

Community Rail Development Officer Bobby Lock said of the project: “This project has been great, with all partners from Island Roads, the Isle of Wight Council and Southern Vectis working hard together to plan and organise the route with a timetable that works well for rail passengers from the station to the town, attractions and the beach and back to the station. Working with the school for the advertising campaign artwork was a delight, though hard to choose the winners and if having this service to promote seamless travel encourages more people to visit our Island and the town by rail, then it’s a job well done.”

Prices are: £1.00 Adults; £50p 5 – 15 year olds
Under 5s and concessionary fares FREE.

For further information please contact Bobby Lock 07583897693 or bobbylockdean@btinternet.com  and for other competitions currently running please go to our website www.isleofwightcrp.co.uk and ‘like’ our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isle-of-Wight-Community-Rail-Partnership.

For a copy of the full timetable, click here (PDF file – opens in new window).

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