Advertorial feature

Plane, train or coach – national travel options

 

Given increasing fuel costs, an ever competitive transport market and mindboggling selection of online travel booking options, the process of booking transport is likely to leave some in a greater state of turmoil than a stock trader speculating peak-oil.

On booking a coach, train or air fare, the state of customer’s purse will vary depending on range of factors, including length of stay, time of booking and the number of people actually making reservations. Below is an investigation into the choice factors influencing domestic travel, focussing on flights, coach or rail travel between Edinburgh and London.

The early bird catches the worm

Whilst coaches frequently offer the cheaper option for travellers, they fail to provide the convenience of flying or rail travel. With this in mind, many domestic travellers still head for the train station or airport, but with flights boasting a 3.5 hour lead in travel time, you would be forgiven for asking why anybody chooses to take the train instead of flying.

'On track for business', a report published by Transform Scotland, cites better value for money, a comfortable working environment, and environmental performance in selecting train travel over flying. Transform Scotland Director, Colin Howden states "Our report makes a compelling case to Scottish business of the financial and productivity benefits of using the train for business travel to and from London”. This affordability is reflected in the enormous number of passengers travelling by train every year. In 2011 East Coast Trains alone carried a total of 18.7 million passengers and numbers are not expected to drop significantly anytime soon.

Lets not forget the slow coach

Albeit a longer journey, coach services such as National Express generally offer the cheapest tickets for coach travel within the UK, but facilities are more limited than on a train. Those travelling for business purposes, or who desire greater freedom on their chosen form of transport, are therefore more likely to appreciate the benefits of train journeys where free movement between coaches is available and advanced bookings make sound financial sense.

Costing you more than money

As we have discussed, efficiency involves more than just cash savings; with time a precious commodity we often have too little of. On the face of it, coach travel may offer the cheapest option financially, but will arguably take considerably longer than an equivalent train journey. In addition, commercial travellers should also consider the added cost of lost billable hours spent idle on a coach, or perhaps queuing at airport security before flying.

As the principal route of East Coast trains (Formerly National Express East Coast) service, travelling between London and Edinburgh is a seamless process. Connections run directly from London to Edinburgh, roughly taking between 4 and 6 hours depending on the time of travel and the type of service selected. So, if time is the only factor, surely the decision to take the train or fly will lean in favour of the latter? Perhaps not, the services and facilities available on board your chosen transport is a reliable indicator of whether or not you have secured value for money. Access to wireless internet, the relative sanctuary of the quiet train coach and a range of light refreshments provided by the buffet car combine to make train journeys both productive and enjoyable.

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'