5 March 2003

"Take the Tram to the Ale of Man"


Bushy's Brewery, the Department of Tourism and Leisure and the Manx Electric Railway Society are joining forces to boost travel on the Island's Electric line.

A unique 'buy one get one free' offer will operate throughout March, with free tickets and free beer as part of a deal to encourage more people to use the winter service.

Isle of Man Transport are offering 'buy one get one free' tickets to all purchasers of tram tickets, and in a related promotion sponsored by Bushy's and the MER Society, holders of ordinary tram tickets issued during March will be entitled to 'Buy one get one free' on a pint of Bushy's Export ale at any of the 10 Bushy's outlets along the line.

The Island's Manx Electric Railway Society put the initiative together. Chairman Alex Townsend said: "With the high levels of government support for the railways, we're keener than ever to see them being used. The winter tram service offers a great opportunity for families to do something different at weekends - especially Sundays."

"The special deal on tickets, and the free beer offer thanks to Bushy's will reinforce and build upon interest in the service, which operates seven days a week throughout the winter months."

Promotional beer mats and posters featuring the world-famous Bushy's fox are being distributed to all of Bushy's outlets around the Island, and a beer mat along with a ticket will be needed to qualify for the free pint.

"The MERS is indebted to the Department of Tourism and Leisure for immediately seeing the value of the joint MERS/Bushy's deal, the Minister Mr David Cretney for his continued support, and of course to Martin Brunnschweiler and Bushy's. Thanks also to the publicans along the line for agreeing to become involved in the scheme, and hope they too see more business as a result."

Bushy's Martin Brunnschweiler said: "We are delighted to help support the Railways and hope more people will use the MER and take the opportunity to drop into one of the pubs along the line for a pint and a bite to eat."

He added: " We'd like do more with the railways, such as evening trams being run in connection with our Blues Festival.

"Independent brewers in the UK are using public transport promotions to promote their pubs, but our deal with a vintage tramway is probably unique."

Holders of ordinary tram tickets issued during March will be able to use their ticket to qualify for the 'Buy one get one free' deal at Ramsey's Ellan Vannin, Iron Pier and Trafalgar hotels, the Glen Mona Hotel, Laxey's Mines Tavern, Bridge Inn, New Inn and Queen's Hotel, and the Rovers and Outback in Douglas.

The 'buy one get one free' beer promotion offer can only apply to holders of ordinary tram tickets issued by the conductor during March. The beer promotion does not apply to passes, resident's tickets or Island Explorers. Holders of ordinary tickets for which they have no further use will be able to surrender the ticket to the bar staff, along with one of the promotional beer mats to qualify for the offer, whilst return tickets needed for travel will have the serial number removed in the pub, allowing the rest of the ticket to be used to travel home.

Tourism Minister David Cretney said: "My Department is keen to promote attractions which enable us to widen the tourist season beyond the traditional summer months, and this initiative is an excellent way for visitors and local residents to discover the beauty of the Island's east coast, with plenty of good Manx hospitality on the way!

"I want to record my gratitude to the MERS and to Bushy's for their inspiration and co-operation which demonstrates the benefits of public private initiatives in the tourism sector."

There are four trams each way, every day including Sunday during the winter, leaving Douglas Derby Castle at 1010, 1150, 1350 and 1530, and trams leave Ramsey at 0955, 1135, 1335 and 1515.

Holders of tram tickets can also choose to return by later bus should they so wish, making it even easier to make a day out.

Isle of Man Transport's offer finishes at the end of March, whilst qualifying tickets will be able to be used for the Bushy's offer until the end of the MER winter service on April 5th 2003.

- ENDS -

More information from: -

David Cretney, Minister, DTL &endash; 453011

Martin Brunnschweiler - Bushy's Brewery &endash; 611101

Manx Electric Railway Society - PO Box 117, Douglas, IM99 1SJ

Paul Ogden, Public Transport Division - 697416

Copyright © 2003 Manx Electric Railway Society, All rights reserved.