A FREE shuttlebus has been launched between two tourist hotspots to ease pressure on Cumbria's rural roads.

Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire will be operating the daily service between Cockermouth and Buttermere during the busy school holidays.

The trial has been funded by Cumbria's Tactical Visitor Management Group, in order to reduce the volume of cars heading to Buttermere Valley.

The 16-seater shuttlebus will do five daily return journeys between Cockermouth, Low Lorton and Buttermere Village, with the first bus departing from Main Street in Cockermouth at 9.30am everyday until Sunday 5 September.

Sustainable Transport Officer for the Lake District National Park Authority, Emma Moody, says: "We're delighted to be part of this initiative which will offer low carbon transport to local people and visitors and help look after this beautiful part of the Lake District.

"This is a simple way to reduce your own carbon footprint, reduce traffic and be Lake District Kind this summer."

Rob Jones, Managing Director for Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire added: “We’re delighted to be involved and operate a shuttle bus service for visitors."