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The Trossachs Explorer – Frequently Asked Questions

The Trossachs Explorer is a new pilot bus service, which offers connections through the Trossachs, from Callander to Aberfoyle and back again. We know that a lack of viable public transport options is a real barrier in encouraging people to leave the car at home when exploring parts of the National Park. This pilot service aims to address some of these challenges.

Too many cars cause high emissions, congestion and pressures on local communities. The lack of public transport options creates an inequality in terms of who can access the National Park, and all that it offers. An efficient, inclusive rural transport network that meets the needs of both visitors and residents is a crucial part of becoming a Net Zero National Park and will contribute to the overall vision of the National Park as a thriving place that is nature positive and carbon negative.

About the Service

Where does the bus stop?

Callander, Kilmahog/Ben Ledi, Brig O’Turk, Ben A’an, Loch Katrine, Ben Venue, The Lodge, Aberfoyle and back again!

How much do tickets cost?

Under 22’s and over 60’s travel for free with Scottish National Entitlement Card (NEC). See the full pricing table for more information.

How do I pay for a ticket?

Its easiest to pay on the bus with cash or card or you can pay using the Midland Bluebird App.

Do I need to book a ticket in advance?

No need to book, just hop on at any of the stops along the route.

What if my bus is late or doesn't turn up?

Please contact Midland Bluebird with any day-to-day service issues.

03330 16 61 62

enquiries@mcgillsscotlandeast.co.uk

Is there a live bus tracker?

Yes, you can download the Midland Bluebird App that will show live GPS locations of the bus along the route.

What if the bus I want to get on is full?

The bus capacity is good with standing area allowing up to 63. Unfortunately in the unlikely event of the bus being full you will need to wait for the next service. If it is the last service of the day the operator will arrange a final service to collect you and others.

Can I take my dog on the bus?

Guide dogs, assistance dogs and learning dogs will have priority over any other animal. Dogs must be on a lead and are carried on local services only. Please note that we only allow one dog to travel at any one time on a bus. However, working dogs will never be refused from our vehicles, and should always wear the appropriate Hi-Viz harness to advise our drivers and other members of the public that the dog is there to assist its handler.

Who do I contact if I have lost or left something on the bus?

Please contact the operator, Midland Bluebird.

03330 16 61 62

enquiries@mcgillsscotlandeast.co.uk

Can I take food and drink on the bus?

Yes this is permitted.

Why is there a reduced service on a Sunday?

The pilot is working within the limits of the existing operator capabilities and staffing structures, which results in a reduced Sunday service. A key element of the pilot evaluation will be to understand journey demand and how any future service in this location or elsewhere can support sustainable choices and what are the important times and days which address volumes and transport poverty.

Can I use a ticket between the Stirling/Glasgow regions?

Travel from either Stirling or Glasgow into the Trossachs area would require the same “All Zone” ticket (day, week, group etc.) so it would be possible to start in Glasgow and finish in Stirling without a different ticket being required.

You can link with the X10 into Glasgow and the 59 to Stirling. They are operated by Midland Bluebird/McGills so the “All Zone” ticket covers all of those journeys. You can also use the C60 bus operated by Stirling Council which links Callander to Killin, however that would require an additional ticket. The Journey Planner App is a great tool for choosing the best option.

Where are the specific bus stops in Callander and Aberfoyle?

The stop in Callander is at Station Road and the Aberfoyle stop is outside the Visitor Information Centre.

What's the best way of finding transport links from wider starting destinations?

If you are starting your journey close to rail options, the quickest way to access the Trossachs may be by train to Stirling to access the 59 bus to Callander, or train to Milngavie to access the X10 to Aberfoyle. The Journey Planner App offers a good tool for choosing the best option.

Accessibility Information

Is there a space for a wheelchair or pram?

Each bus has space for 1 wheelchair and 1 pram. More prams can be accommodated depending on space and patronage at a specific time.

We are happy to carry prams and buggies but a wheelchair always takes precedence over a pram or buggy. If a wheelchair needs the wheelchair space and it is occupied by a buggy, the buggy owner will be expected to fold the buggy to allow the wheelchair to have access to its space.

Please note, mobility scooters are not suitable to travel on any Midland Bluebird buses.

What size of wheelchair can be accommodated?

The wheelchair space on the bus is designed for wheelchairs which are no bigger than 700mm wide, 1200mm long and 1350mm high.

Is there a ramp on the bus?

Yes, a ramp can be requested which the driver will assist with.

Are there any fully accessible facilities at any of the stops?

Yes, there is a Changing Places Toilet in Aberfoyle.

Are drivers aware of the Thistle Card?

Yes, drivers are aware as well as the Volunteer National Park Rangers who will also be assisting on the bus.

Are there any barriers to physical accessibility at any of the stops?

The stop at Kilmahog/Ben Ledi is on an uneven and unsurfaced grass verge, so we recommend that you check suitability for your personal needs in advance.

Park and Ride Options

Is there car parking available at the terminus of the route?

Yes there are car parks at both Callander and Aberfoyle, but it is worth noting Callander offers far higher capacity.

How much is car parking at Callander or Aberfoyle?

Both car parks are managed by Stirling Council. The car park at Aberfoyle is free to use (though capacity is limited). For Callander, you can pay with cash or via the Ringo app. The car park is open from 08:45 – 17:30 Monday – Sunday.

For Callander, prices are:

  • £2.50 for up to 2 hours
  • £3.00 for 4 hours
  • £4.00 for all day parking.

Bikes and Storage

Can I take a bike on the bus?

No. The bus that is being used for the trial is a smaller model due to the roads and stops that the route follows, therefore there is no space for bikes on board. However, there is bike hire available in Callander and Loch Katrine.

Is there luggage storage?

No. There is no designated storage area for luggage other than a pram. Luggage and backpacks can be taken on board but we ask that you are considerate of other passengers and always follow instructions from the driver.

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