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Getting Your Money’s Worth: Exploring the UK and Beyond with the £2 Bus Fare

The bus industry in England will no doubt be delighted to learn that the Conservative Party have announced in their manifesto that if re-elected, they will keep the £2.00 fare cap for the duration of the next Parliament, claiming that it will help both younger people and those families on low incomes. The scheme would be funded by significant cost savings to the UK rail network. There is some evidence to suggest that there has been an increase in people using buses, but the level of patronage is still below pre-Covid levels. Different parts of the UK have also seen different levels of increase and engagement, although some have suggested that changes in both working and shopping habits have impacted bus use. With an average flight time of 2 hours and 30 minutes to Krakow, the prospect of spending a total of two and a half days on buses and coaches is quite astonishing. However, it is noteworthy that the six buses required to travel to London would cost him only £2.00 in total.

Mr. Cowell describes himself as a “bus adventurer.” For his trip to Poland, he will be catching six buses to get from Derby to London, which will take one day. He will then catch a coach direct to Krakow, taking an additional 36 hours. The cost for the London journey will be £2, while the cost to Krakow on the coach is £65, which is still cheaper than any low-cost flight. Additionally, he will have the bonus of enjoying dinner in Paris en route, even if he has to endure 36 hours on a coach. There have been a number of well-recorded examples of people who have travelled the country using the two-pound fare. There have also been several people who have sought to identify the UK’s most scenic bus journey. The winner was decreed to be the Coastliner 840 service from Leeds to Whitby in North Yorkshire. In a survey conducted in 2018, this route was selected from quite a few contenders. The journey itself takes 3 hours and 40 minutes from Leeds.

If you ever wondered what the longest bus route in the UK is, it is the Scottish Citylink route from Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station to Uig Pier on the Isle of Skye via Fort William and Kyle of Lochalsh. This beautiful journey takes 7 hours and 59 minutes (to put that in perspective, you can fly to New York in 5 hours). The route is 230 miles long. The Isle of Skye offers some wonderful sights to behold, although it is not cheap at £42 for a single ticket. However, you can get a three-day Explorer pass for £60, which is excellent value.

Everyone loves a bargain, but are you hardy enough to endure what Andrew from Derby is about to experience? While a good bus route can be enjoyable, making it all the way to Krakow is quite a challenge. Nevertheless, the diversity of people’s interests and endurance is what makes such adventures fascinating.


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