Stagecoach West to offer free travel to veterans, military personnel and cadets over the Remembrance Weekend as brand-new Poppy Coach takes to the road.
Stagecoach West has announced free travel for veterans, serving personnel and cadets on all of its bus services, including The Oxford Tube, on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday as a mark of respect to those who have and continue to serve.
Any veteran wearing medals or a Veteran’s badge, serving personnel or cadets in uniform, or with proof of military ID, can travel for free on all Stagecoach services on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th November 2023. Armed forces personnel in uniform or carrying ID will also be entitled to free travel.
The bus company has also commissioned a specially wrapped Poppy Coach, designed and created with support from the Armed Forces Covenant and MOD. The coach will be seen on the Oxford Tube route between Carterton and London. All Stagecoach West’s local buses will also be proudly sporting poppies throughout November.
Rachel Geliamassi, Managing Director, Stagecoach West said: “Many of our employees have served or have friends or family members with a connection to the Armed Forces, so it’s really important we show our support.
“We hope that the offer of free travel over Remembrance Weekend will enable those who want to attend services across the region and pay their respects to do so with ease.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our passengers, drivers and teams for their generous donations to the Royal British Legion and their annual Poppy Appeal to help them continue their vital work.
“The introduction of our Poppy coach is a longer-term gesture of appreciation and gratitude in recognition of the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the Armed Forces. This has been created in conjunction with the Armed Forces Covenant which pledges to treat those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces with fairness and respect.”
Sam Berkson, National Account Manager for Defence Relationship Management said: “I’d like to thank Stagecoach West for this public and very visible commitment to the Armed Forces community. It is clear that Stagecoach recognises the benefits of being a Forces-friendly employer and I look forward to their continued support for Defence and advocacy for its people.”
The ongoing free travel commitment, including on Armed Forces Day in the summer reinforces Stagecoach’s commitment to its employee-led UK-wide Ex-Forces Veterans’ Network – an initiative set up to help the Armed Forces with charity work and events, support ex-forces applications and make courses for veterans easily accessible. Stagecoach’s work with the Armed Forces won them a prestigious Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Award in July, recognising the bus operator as one of the top 100 employers for Armed Forces communities and Veterans in the UK.