News: travel coach class to Brum

The best deals, the latest hot spots and what's new in travel
Click to follow
The Independent Travel

The cut-price rail service that links London Euston with Birmingham is to be axed - but starting on Monday, a new high-frequency, high-quality coach service begins.

The cut-price rail service that links London Euston with Birmingham is to be axed - but starting on Monday, a new high-frequency, high-quality coach service begins.

Silverlink trains have long provided the cheap alternative on the West Coast main line between Britain's two biggest cities. While a standard return on Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street costs £97, Silverlink has a maximum return fare of £44. Virgin's standard journey time is 1 hour 40 minutes; Silverlink is typically half-an-hour slower.

Silverlink's London-Birmingham trains are to end on 27 September, when the company stops running north of Northampton. But from Monday 13 September, its sister company, National Express, is to launch the "NXL Shuttle" - a specially branded bus, with leather seats and extra legroom. It will run half-hourly during the day and hourly at night (8pm-6am) between Victoria Coach Station and central Birmingham, via Marble Arch and Golders Green. The estimated journey time from Victoria to Birmingham is 2 hours 40 minutes.

Where NXL really scores is on price. Cut-price "funfares" will be available on the route, for as little as £1 each way if you book in advance online. The most expensive "walk-up" fare is priced at £20.50 return.

Megabus has fares ranging from £2.50 to £14.50 return between London Victoria and Birmingham, taking around three hours. You must book online.

The rail alternative is the Chiltern link between London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street; the company has a maximum fare of £63 return for a journey of around two hours.

National Express

(08705 80 80 80; www.nationalexpress.com)

National rail enquiries (08457 48 49 50; www.nationalrail.co.uk)

Megabus ( www.megabus.com)

Comments