News Releases

Stagecoach launches 'Panda Express' to Edinburgh Zoo

27 Feb 2012

New bus links to the attraction from West Scotland and Aberdeen
• Free child travel, pre-arranged panda slots, discounted zoo entry

Scots can now catch the ‘Panda Express’ after transport group Stagecoach launched new bus links to help the thousands of visitors flocking to Edinburgh Zoo to see its latest stars.

From today (Monday 27 February) Panda Express services will provide hassle-free, good value day trips to see the giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang.

The Panda Express will run on two routes:
• Ayr- Prestwick-Kilmarnock-East Kilbride-Hamilton-Motherwell-Edinburgh
• Aberdeen-Dundee-Glenrothes-Kirkcaldy-Edinburgh

There will be one return service a day from each location, allowing passengers to arrive at the zoo in the morning and enjoy a day out before returning home in the afternoon. Children under 16 travel free, with one free child per adult.

Passengers travelling with the Panda Express during the week have the added bonus of a pre-arranged panda slot and discounted zoo entry included with their bus ticket, saving £4.50 on the standard adult entry price. Visitors travelling at weekends or on school holidays must pre-book their panda viewing slot and are charged the standard zoo admission price.

Customers can call the booking hotline on 0871 266 3333 to book their bus ticket, reserve their Edinburgh Zoo admission tickets and get a panda viewing slot.

All passengers travelling on the specially liveried Panda Express services during their first week of operation will also be treated to some free panda goodies including children’s activity packs, mugs and coasters.

The new Panda Express services were officially launched at an event at Edinburgh Zoo attended by Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Sir Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group Non-Executive Director Ewan Brown and Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Zoo.

Sir Brian Souter said: “Thousands of Scots are beating a path to see the giant pandas. They have certainly become superstars of the animal world and the country has really taken them to their heart. We hope the Panda Express will help families from across Scotland have a great, stress-free day out and save money at the same time."

Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived at Edinburgh Zoo from China in December last year and are the only giant pandas in the UK. The pair, who will live at the zoo for the next 10 years, have proved so popular that already visitor numbers at the zoo have soared by 200%. Panda viewings are done in half-hour slots and around 200 people are able to see the animals during every half-hour window.

Sharon Simpson, Head of Marketing for Edinburgh Zoo, said: “The pandas have proved phenomenally popular so far and we are delighted to partner with Stagecoach to provide this service, making it even easier for people from across Scotland to visit these amazing animals in real life. Environmentally friendly, hassle free and economic, we are certain the new service will be a huge success.”

For further information about the Panda Express or other Stagecoach bus services, visit www.stagecoachbus.com

Call 0871 266 3333 to book tickets for the Panda Express bus service and to pre-book zoo tickets and panda viewing slots.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email: media@stagecoachgroup.com

Photos of the media launch are available by emailing media@stagecoachgroup.com

Notes to Editors:
• One child can travel free per adult
• Bus seats and panda viewing slots are subject to availability. Pre-arranged panda viewing slots are included with travel from Monday to Friday only. Passengers travelling on the Panda Express at weekends MUST pre-book their panda viewing slots themselves before travelling.
• Discounted zoo entry is not available at weekends or during school holidays.
• Passengers can travel on the Panda Express services without pre-booking a bus ticket, although this is subject to seat availability. Provided seats are available, customers that choose to do this from Monday to Friday will be offered a panda viewing slot and discounted entry to the zoo. However, at weekends and on school holidays, passengers must pre-book a panda viewing slot before they travel. This can be done by calling 0871 266 3333. If they do not pre-book a slot, we cannot guarantee that they will be able to see the pandas during their visit.
• Panda Express tickets can also be booked online by visiting www.stagecoachbus.com. However, passengers should note that it is essential that they pre-book their panda slots separately before travelling – this can be done by calling 0871 266 3333. If they do not pre-book a slot, we cannot guarantee that they will be able to see the pandas during their visit.
• Calls to 0871 266 3333 cost 10p/min from BT landlines plus network extras. Charges from other providers or mobiles may vary. Call centre opening hours – 0700 to 2200hrs seven days a week.
• Edinburgh Zoo terms and conditions apply - http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/visiting/panda.html

Zoo entry prices:

 

Panda Express customers Mon – Fri

 

Panda Express customers Weekends & school holidays

 

Standard zoo entry prices

 

Adult

 

£11.00

 

£15.50

 

£15.50

 

Concession

 

£10.00

 

£13.00

 

£13.00

 

Child (children under three years gain free entry)

 

£7.00

 

£11.00

 

£11.00

 

Panda Express bus fares Ayr to Edinburgh Zoo:

 

 

 

Adult single

 

Child single

 

Adult return

 

Child return

 

Ayr

 

£9.50

 

£4.75

 

£15.00

 

£7.50

 

Prestwick

 

£9.50

 

£4.75

 

£15.00

 

£7.50

 

Kilmarnock

 

£9.00

 

£4.50

 

£14.40

 

£7.20

 

East Kilbride

 

£7.20

 

£3.60

 

£11.55

 

£5.80

 

Hamilton

 

£7.20

 

£3.60

 

£11.55

 

£5.80

 

Motherwell

 

£7.20

 

£3.60

 

£11.55

 

£5.80

 

Panda Express bus fares Aberdeen to Edinburgh Zoo:

 

 

Adult single

 

Child single

 

Adult Return

 

Child Return

 

Aberdeen

 

£16.00

 

£8.00

 

£25.00

 

£16.00

 

Dundee

 

£9.50

 

£4.80

 

£17.10

 

£9.60

 

Glenrothes

 

£8.00

 

£4.00

 

£14.40

 

£8.00

 

Kirkcaldy

 

£7.10

 

£3.60

 

£12.80

 

£7.20

 

Stagecoach Group
• Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States and Canada. The company employs around 35,000 people, and operates bus, coach, rail, and tram services.
• Stagecoach is one of UK’s biggest bus and coach operators. Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach's 8,000 buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The company's business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge.
• Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast inter-city rail franchise.
• Stagecoach also operates the Supertram network in Sheffield.