Revellers are being urged not to drink drive this festive period through a seasonal bus ticket launched in the region.
The Christmas ticket, which is available from now until January 5, will allow any two people travelling together on First bus services after 5pm an unlimited number of journeys for £5.
The launch of the scheme, which represents a saving on a regular ticket, is hoped to save customers money over the Christmas and New Year period amid national anti-drink drive campaigns. Passengers can also travel alone with the ticket if they wish.
A spokesman for First said: “We believe this innovative and customer-friendly ticket will prove popular with people looking to have a drink together over Christmas and avoid the thought of drink driving or a costly taxi.
“We work closely with local authorities and businesses to help stimulate trade at the busiest shopping time of the year and we want to support our local communities.”
In 2012, 280 people were killed and 1,210 were seriously hurt in crashes involving someone over the drink drive limit. Road Safety charity Brake has voiced its support for the festive ticket, stating public transport is “a great alternative to driving if you’re out celebrating”.
A spokesman said: “It’s vital that you plan in advance how you will get home safely, so you don’t end up caught out and tempted to risk driving after drinking, or catching a lift with a drink driver.
“The most important message to all drivers and passengers during the festive season is that even one drink, even half a pint, is too much if you’re driving, as research is clear that even small amounts of alcohol dramatically increase your risk of crashing.”
First is also reducing the cost of a child weekly ticket to £5 from December 21 to December 30.