A CASH boost is to be made available to help encourage tourists out of their cars and onto public transport.

Around £16,000 will be up for grabs for anyone hoping to develop easy, accessible public transport for visitors to the south and central Lake District.

The money, part of the GoLakes Travel Programme, is being made available to businesses, transport operators, community groups and parish councils across the GoLakes Travel area, which stretches from Broughton-in-Furness to the Lyth Valley, and up to Windermere, Coniston, Ambleside and Grasmere.

The aim is to support businesses and communities who want to make buses, boats and trains more attractive transport options for tourists.

Emma Moody, GoLakes Travel passenger transport adviser, said: “We’re committed to improving travel and ticketing around the south and central Lake District, so people have the best possible access to public transport links and can travel around quickly and easily – with minimum impact on our stunning landscape.

“In challenging times, this fund is a great opportunity to work in partnership with communities and local businesses to help make that vision a reality.”

The cash will be distributed during 2013 to help with improvements to public transport services, such as new or extended routes, infrastructure improvements, including bus stops and contributions to bus shelters, ticketing initiatives and improved bike-carrying facilities on buses.

Organisations can apply for up to £5,000 for any one scheme, with the funding covering up to 80% of the overall costs.

The deadline for the first round of applications will be May 7, with a second series of applications in September.

For more information, see www.golakestravel.co.uk or contact Emma Moody on 01539-796 725.