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Torbay school children first to hop aboard Stagecoach Golden Hop open tops

25 Apr 2017

  • From 29 April, six ‘Golden Hops’ (route 122) will run up to every 20 mins, 7 days a week connecting St Marychurch, Torquay, Paignton and Paignton Zoo
  • All six buses unveiled on Paignton Seafront by Stagecoach MD Bob Dennison, Mayor Gordon Oliver and Richard Cuming, Chair of English Riviera Attractions
  • Each bus has a distinctive livery featuring a ‘bus hopper’ animal character
  • Characters named by local school children who were the first to hop aboard the buses and visit local attractions
  • Customers can collect a free ‘adventurer’s passport’ from their driver or Paignton Travelshop and find free stickers of each animal from attractions around the Bay
  • On first day of service (29 April) all single journeys will cost just £1

Local Torbay schoolchildren were treated to a tour of the Bay and a trip to a local attraction yesterday aboard Stagecoach’s exciting new open top summer bus service.

The family of Golden Hop open-top buses will hit the road on 29 April, in time for the year’s first May Bank Holiday and to officially kick off the main summer holiday season. The fleet of six buses will run up to every 20 minutes, 7 days a week and will connect St Marychurch, Torquay, Paignton and Paignton Zoo. Visitors will be able to enjoy a unique sightseeing experience and hop on and off as often as they like to visit destinations and attractions along the route.

Each ‘Golden Hop’ bus features a distinctive yellow livery with its very own ‘bus hopper’ animal character. All six buses were unveiled yesterday morning on Paignton Seafront by Stagecoach South West Managing Director Bob Dennison, Mayor of Torbay Gordon Oliver and Richard Cuming, Chair of English Riviera Attractions and owner of Bygones.

Bob Dennison said: “It’s great to see all the buses out on the road – they’re so eye catching and I hope they’ll be a hit with both residents and tourists alike.”

Gordon Oliver added: “I fully support any initiative which encourages people to explore our beautiful Bay and everything it has to offer. Having a regular open top service back in the Bay for the summer is fantastic news.”

Richard Cuming added: “This new service further shows Stagecoach are committed to finding more ways to support tourism in the Bay and I can’t wait to see it pass by my front door!”

Children at Cockington Primary School were responsible for coming up with the name ‘Golden Hop’ to describe the bus route itself. Joining the Hop mascot Gary the Rabbit, the remaining five hopping characters have been named by classes from schools around the area:

  • Chirpy the Cricket (Class 2M, Cockington Primary School)
  • Porter the Penguin (Class 13, Oldway Primary School)
  • Cango the Kangaroo (Class 14, Oldway Primary School)
  • Freddie the Frog (Class 2, Priory Catholic Primary School)
  • Swash Buckle the Pirate Parrot (Class 3, Priory Catholic Primary School)

As a thank you for the schools’ participation in the naming project, the children were invited to be the first to hop aboard the buses they had named to take a fun tour of the Bay. Each tour then finished with a visit to an attraction, each of which is hosting a ‘bus hopper’ character. Here, the children collected a sticker from the character to add to a free sticker book - the ‘Adventurer’s Passport’.

Cockington Primary School Teacher, Anna Hylands, commented: “The children loved their tour around Torbay in an open top bus they had named. Finishing it with a visit to Dinosaur World to see Chirpy the Cricket and all the dinosaurs really was the icing on the cake. They’re all really excited they’ll be seeing ‘their’ bus around the Bay over the summer and it was an amazing experience to be some of the very first passengers to hop on board.”

Every open top customer can join in the fun by picking up a free Adventurer’s Passport from their Golden Hop driver or from Stagecoach’s Paignton Travelshop. They can then use the open top service to visit attractions across the Bay and add their free stickers. Alternatively, they can buy a full sticker sheet exclusively from the Travelshop for just £1.

Bus hopper partner locations are as follows:

  • Bygones (Swash Buckle)
  • Dinosaur World (Chirpy)
  • Kents Cavern (Freddie)
  • Paignton Travelshop (Gary)
  • Paignton Zoo (Cango)
  • Torquay Museum (Porter)

Stagecoach has also confirmed that, for the first day of service only (29 April), all single journeys on the Golden Hops will cost just £1*, making a tour of the Bay a great way to start a Bank Holiday weekend of fun.

Further details of the new service, including a full timetable, are available on the website:

*Terms & Conditions: £1 single journey fare only available on Hop122 ‘Golden Hop’ service on Saturday 29 April 2017. Normal fares will apply at all other times. £1 child add on is not available for purchase on Hop122 service at any time.