24th October 2003

Travelodge has today announced the launch of a new ‘Catnap and Coffee’ initiative, which will provide tired motorists with the opportunity to rent a room for half an hour – just enough time to make a strong cup of coffee and enjoy a 15 minute nap, prior to continuing on their journey.

Launching on Sunday 26th October and targeted at weary travellers who have been on the road for more than two hours; the new offer comes in response to the Department for Transport’s advice that motorists should plan to stop for a 15 minute break every two hours on a long journey if you’re feeling sleepy; during which time they should drink one or two cups of strong coffee and take a 15 minute nap.

With road congestion a growing issue throughout the UK, the clocks going back an hour this weekend and families across the country due to set off for the half term break, Travelodge’s overall aim is to help extra-tired drivers endure the dark days ahead.

In total, eight key roadside Travelodges, all of which are situated at renowned congestion ‘hot spots’ throughout the UK are involved in the ‘Catnap and Coffee’ initiative, with a view to the list of participating Travelodges being expanded in the New Year, depending on guests’ response to this new offer.

In addition, as a reaction to the Department for Transport’s findings that driving between midnight and 6am is particularly dangerous when natural alertness is low, all roadside Travelodges throughout the UK will also be offering half price rooms for any guest booking in from 10pm onwards on any weekday night from Sunday October 26th until the New Year.

Simon Gregory, sales and marketing director for Travelodge, explains the reasons: “With many of our lodges situated along the UK’s busiest routes, we are all too aware of the problems of driver fatigue, particularly during the winter months. Both our ‘Catnap and Coffee’ initiative and half price offer will extend Travelodge’s hassle-free offering beyond the traditional full nights’ stay and will provide drivers with a safe, comfortable place to stop at any time.”


Department for Transport tips to reduce the effects of tiredness whilst driving:
· Remember the risks if you have to get up unusually early to start your trip, or have a long drive home after a full day’s work
· Try to avoid long trips between midnight and 6am when natural alertness is low
· On a long journey, stop for a 15-minute break every two hours
· If you do start to feel sleepy, find a safe place to stop, but not on the hard shoulder, drink one or two cups of strong coffee and take a 15 minute nap
· Remember that opening a window or turning up the radio will do little to keep you from falling asleep
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For further information contact the Travelodge Press Office at Cohn & Wolfe on 020 7331 5400
Notes to Editors:

· The Travelodges participating in the ‘Catnap & Coffee’ initiative are;
M6: Carlisle Southwaite, Knutsford, Hilton Park
M1: Donington Park, Toddington, Wakefield
M4 Chippenham East / West
A1 Washington North / South
· 166 roadside lodges will be offering the half price room offer (47 of which are motorway locations)
· The cost for the ‘Catnap & Coffee’ service will be just £5 per person, based on a maximum of one person per room.
· The half price offer is for walk in bookings only.
· Travelodge currently has over 240 locations throughout the UK and Ireland. These are conveniently located in most major UK cities, on all major motorways and 'A' roads.
· Falling asleep at the wheel is believed to account for up to 20% of crashes on truck roads and motorways. For more information on driver tiredness and other road safety issues log onto www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk
· Travelodge offers an online booking service at www.travelodge.co.uk and also via telephone on 08700 850 950.
· Competitively priced, Travelodge room rates start from just £44.95, per room, per night.
· Most family rooms can sleep up to 4 people (2 adults and 2 children, both under 16 years), with the added bonus that prices are per room rather than per person. All rooms are en-suite, with luxury King Size beds and free tea and coffee making facilities.
· In 2003 Compass Group plc, owners of Travelodge since 2000, sold the company to Permira Investment Fund Managers. Permira has ambitious plans for Travelodge and is confident that it has an exciting future as the UK's leading hotel brand.