New bus pass will open more of the countryside for disabled people in the North West

The Department for Transport and The National Trust have teamed up to identify more than thirty National Trust sites that will be even more accessible to disabled visitors following the launch of the national bus concession in two weeks time.

And three stunning North West attractions are in the list of National Trust sites hoping to see more visitors following the launch of the new concession scheme.

They are: Tatton Park, a neo-classical mansion set among 1,000 acres of deer park near Knutsford in Cheshire; Fell Foot Park, a beautiful country park at the edge of Lake Windermere at Ulverston in Cumbria; and Dunham Massey, a Georgian mansion and grounds near Altrincham, Cheshire.

Launched on 1st April, the new Concessionary Bus Pass will entitle eligible disabled people and those aged 60 or over to travel on local off-peak buses anywhere in England for free, including to some of the country's most beautiful buildings and landscapes.

All easily reached by local bus, with a stop less than half a mile away, the sites offer improved disabled access (including the use of powered mobility vehicles).

Some locations also provide reduced admission to visitors travelling by public transport, making a trip from 1st April 2008 even more economical.

Head of Access for All at the National Trust, Heather Smith, said:

"We are constantly looking for ways to improve access to our sites and free off-peak local bus travel will provide some of our disabled visitors with an opportunity to use public transport more cost-effectively."

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said:

"This is another reason why extending the concessionary fares scheme is going to be so important to so many people.

"I hope that those who are eligible will use their pass to visit places in the North West and further abroad. The pass is not just for visiting local shops and services - it can also provide some great days out for those who want to make the most of free off-peak local bus travel."

Leonard Cheshire Disability National Campaigns Coordinator, Lee Webster added:

"This scheme is a very positive step towards a fully accessible public transport system. It is now up to transport providers to make sure that all their buses are accessible, so that disabled people can take full advantage of all the cultural and social opportunities available to them."