A NEW way of encouraging more visitors to use public transport to get to and around the Cotswolds is being launched.

Coinciding with the start of English Tourism Week, The Cotswolds Discoverer pass is being launched at Moreton Station on Friday, March 28.

It is an integrated bus and rail ticket that provides unlimited travel to and around the area with participating bus and rail operators.

The Cotswolds Discoverer was first tested as a pilot scheme in April 2012 by the Cotswolds Conservation Board in partnership with First Great Western, local bus operators, Cotswolds Tourism and local authorities.

Aimed at giving visitors even more options for a day out or short break in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), people can buy a £10 one-day pass or £25 three-day pass which offers unlimited travel to a wide range of attractions, towns, villages, gardens, and historic buildings.

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who is attending the launch, welcomed the new scheme.

"Encouraging a greater use of public transport through this scheme is good news for the environment, rural economy and local communities as well as offering extremely good value for money for both visitors and local residents," he said.

"I hope that this initiative will be widely promoted and wish it every possible success.”

Martin Lane, Cotswolds Conservation Board Director, said: “The Discoverer ticket provides a great day out with family and friends and its launch is ideal timing for the Easter holidays.

"The scheme was established to encourage more sustainable travel options to and around the Cotswolds and reduce the reliance on the car.

"We are hugely grateful for the support from the bus and train companies and authorities involved and hope that many more people will use it to explore the delights of this popular area in the future.”

For more information visit escapetothecotswolds.org.uk/discoverer.