REDHEADS are being offered free rides on St Helens’ newest transport company.

Strawberry Bus is adding a splash of colour to its journeys by offering the free tickets to passengers with fiery-topped manes.

The service runs buses between St Helens, Warrington and Skelmersdale.

Although designed to add a touch of fun to Strawberry’s daily drives the campaign also hopes to raise awareness of the supposed decline of redheads.

Research, cited by the travel firm, suggests red and ginger hair colours will die out inside the next 100 years.

It claims St Helens now has less than two per cent of residents with natural red locks.

But we do boast at least one high profile redhead, in the shape of Saints’ powerhouse prop James Graham.

Strawberry Bus managing director Oliver Howarth said: “At Strawberry we love everything red so when we heard about the decline of red-haired people we wanted to do mark the news with our own tribute to redheads.”

Strawberry will offer the Redhead promotion until Tuesday, December 15 - and bus drivers will have a colour chart to check passengers qualify.

Dyed red hair will also count and drivers will not seek proof that patrons are natural redheads.

Strawberry launched its new service last month and provides routes through housing estates and industrial areas not served by larger bus companies.

The company is the brainchild of husband and wife owners Oliver and Lorraine Howarth.

Mr Howarth added: “We wanted a name that was fresh and friendly and forward looking.

“Our slogan is berry nice people driving berry good buses.

“We want to encourage people to think about the environment a bit more, get out of their cars and travel in a more sustainable way.

“We believe that the way to do that is through listening to local people and offering them new services that meet their needs, are good value and of sustained quality.”