Lunch date with Mr Major could be a journey too far
Ben Summers and George Wright trace the public transport routes four Cabinet members would make to Great Stukeley for Saturday lunch with the Prime Minister
Thursday 30 January 1997
Unfortunately no buses run from St Albans to Huntingdon. St Albans - Luton - Huntingdon would be possible. The 0847 arrives in Luton at 0925 in time for the Secretary of State for Social Security to catch the 1000, arriving in Huntingdon at mid-day - a journey of three-and-a-half hours. The operator suggests taking the train to King's Cross-Thameslink station, walking to the main station and waiting half an hour for a Huntingdon train. Mr Lilley would still have to take the bus from Huntingdon to Great Stukeley. A journey of two hours.
Michael Heseltine's journey from Banbury, Oxfordhsire, perplexes the TBC Hotline. After 15 minutes they phone back to recommend the train.
We wonder, on Mr Heseltine's behalf, whether the whole journey to Mr Major's home village could be made by train. The assistant at National Train Enquiries on 0345 484950 (local rate) hasn't heard of Great Stukeley. The Deputy Prime Minister would have to take the bus from Huntingdon to Great Stukeley.
Mr Heseltine can take the train from Banbury at 0919, arriving at Paddington at 1057. He must then take the Underground Circle Line to King's Cross. The 1150 will have him in Huntingdon by 1253.
Gillian Shephard travels from Downham Market, Norfolk. Norfolk County Council's Transport Information Line says that the only weekday option is a Norfolk Green bus from Downham Market to King's Lynn, and change for Huntingdon. On Saturdays, the Norfolk Green bus arrives in King's Lynn two hours after the bus to Huntingdon has left. The train is the only option.
Leaving Downham Market at 1122, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment must change at Ely for the 1153 to Peterborough, where she catches the 1246 to Huntingdon, arriving at 1300. We hope Mrs Shephard would be able to run for the 1305 bus to Great Stukeley.
Sir George Young, leaving Maidenhead, Berkshire, would take the 1035 from Maidenhead and arrive at Paddington half an hour later. The Secretary of State for Transport would take the Underground to King's Cross to join Mr Heseltine on the 1150 to Huntingdon. If he were to take the bus, Sir George would go from Maidenhead on the Thames Transit 390 service at 0920 which pulls into London Victoria at 1035. After a short walk to the National Express coach stop, Sir George waits for the 1100 to Cambridge.
Setting down at 1250, he would then take a local 73 or 74 bus (running every 20 minutes) which gets him to Huntingdon within an hour. Allowing for a 15-minute bus ride from here to Great Stukeley, Sir George Young would finally arrive at 1415. Norma's roast beef may well be overdone.
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