THE New Forest Tour bus which attracted 10,000 visitors for a car-free ride this summer has been hailed as success by council and national park bosses.

The open-top hop on, hop off service ran for one hundred days from May to early September and gave a boost to car free tourism in the New Forest. It attracted 9,015 passengers - an average of 90 passengers a day.

The tour began operating in 2004 with about 25 passengers a day.

This year with two new buses the two-hour tour set off hourly.

It takes in Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst and Lymington as well as Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and some of the Forestry Commission campsites.

A link was added to the waterfront town of Hythe first thing in the morning and last thing at night. A shuttle bus then provided a link at noon to meet the tour at Exbury.