A TRANSPORT group has come up with a capital idea – fares from Huddersfield to London starting at just £1.
Bus and train operator Stagecoach today launched a new budget coach and rail service to help travellers beat the credit crunch.
Megabusplus.com is billed as the first service of its kind in the UK – offering fares from just £1 plus a 50p booking fee.
The first megabusplus.com services start running from next Monday.
Passengers using megabusplus.com will be able to travel to London’s St Pancras Station from Huddersfield and eight other locations in northern England – Hull, Scunthorpe, Doncaster, Castleford, Harrogate, York, Bradford and Halifax.
Stagecoach group chief executive Brian Souter said: "The fast, integrated journey will be by comfortable coach and high-quality train, provided by East Midlands Trains, running in and out of London St. Pancras station.
"With quick journey times from just three-and-a-half hours, the new service will be faster than existing coach links to London and even some rail services."
A statement by Stagecoach said the new service would appeal to people on a tight budget, adding: "It is also a major boost for travellers as the last remaining direct flights between Yorkshire’s Leeds-Bradford airport and London Heathrow are being axed from the end of March."
Stagecoach held a regional launch event today in Bradford, which was attended by East Midlands Trains managing director Tim Shoveller and England rugby league internationals Paul Sykes and Jamie Langley, of Bradford Bulls.
Passengers have to book online or by phone.
The megabusplus website shows Stagecoach running two services between Huddersfield and St Pancras on Mondays and Fridays with a single service on Sundays.
Travellers go by coach to East Midlands Parkway rail station in Nottinghamshire where they will transfer to the Stagecoach-owned East Midlands train service to complete their journey to St Pancras. Returning, they go by rail to East Midlands Parkway and switch back to a coach for the rest of the trip.
Weekday services run from Huddersfield at 6.35am to reach St Pancras at 11.19am and from 12.45pm to arrive in London at 5.20pm. The return services leave London at 8.15am to reach Huddersfield at 12.35pm and at 2.45pm to arrive at 6.45pm.
On Sunday, the service leaves Huddersfield at 9.40am to reach London at 2.44pm with the reverse route leaving London at 11am to reach Huddersfield at 3.50pm. All journeys involve changing at East Midlands Parkway.
Stagecoach, based in Perth, Scotland, has 30,000 employees and has operations in the UK and North America. It posted operating profits of £205.3m last year on turnover totalling £1.76bn.
Location of operations: UK, USA, Canada.
It has 19 bus companies running more than 7,000 vehicles and covering about 100 towns and cities in the UK, including Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Hull, Sheffield, Oxford and Cambridge. They include the former Yorkshire Traction operation linking Huddersfield with South Yorkshire.
Its rail franchises include East Midlands Trains covering East Midland and South Yorkshire, commuter network South West Trains, Island Line on the Isle of Wight, Manchester’s Metrolink and the Sheffield Supertram.