Something To Declare: Scottish travel; bandits in Brazil; Dunkirk and Dieppe
Saturday 09 October 2004
Bargain of the week: travelling between Scotland's two biggest cities
The corridor between Edinburgh and Glasgow is one of the most competitive travel markets in Britain.
From Monday the rivalry gets more intense. The Motorvator company, which operates in association with Megabus, is adding 50 per cent more services between the two cities.
At present, service 900 departs every half an hour. From next week it will run every 20 minutes. Seats booked well in advance through www.megabus.com are widely available for £1 each way, plus a 50p booking fee (covering as many trips as you wish to book in a single transaction).
ScotRail, which runs four trains an hour between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, ripostes with the GroupSave offer. Under this deal, three or four people can travel there and back in the day for the price of two: £15.80 in total, meaning less than £4 per person if four travel together. Note that National Rail Enquiries and the ScotRail website both deny that this deal exists, but turning up at the station and asking for it seems to work.
Morning and evening rush-hour services are excluded; for these, a "50-Journey Flexipass" reduces the cost to £7 each way, if you are prepared to commit to an initial £350 investment.
Warning of the week: bandits in Brazil
The US State Department is warning about villains targeting visitors to South America's largest country. "At airports, hotel lobbies, bus stations and other public places there is much pickpocketing, and the theft of carry-on luggage, briefcases and laptop computers is common. Travellers should dress down when outside and avoid carrying valuables or wearing jewellery or expensive watches."
Destinations of the week: Dunkirk and Dieppe
These gateways to France are less fashionable than, say, Calais or Cherbourg, but offer quick and easy road links to the east and south respectively - and very low fares.
Norfolkline, the no-frills Channel ferry company, has a remarkably unrestricted offer for travel between Dover and Dunkirk, the northernmost town in France. A driver, four passengers and a car can get there and back on any sailing between now and the end of June 2005, for a maximum of £108. If you travel from Monday to Thursday, you save £10 each way.
Book on 0870 870 1020 or through www.norfolkline.com by 17 October.
From Newhaven in East Sussex, Transmanche Ferries (0800 917 1201; www.transmancheferries.com) sails to Dieppe. It has a three-day return ticket, covering a car plus five people, for £60 - available on any sailings between now and 7 November, whereupon the fare drops to £45 for the winter, right through to 14 March next year.
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