Manchester to Cambridge

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by dggar, 24 Nov 2011.

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  1. dggar

    dggar Member

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    My daughter has an interview at Cambridge on Monday 5th December and needs to be in Cambridge by 15:00.
    She would leave after 18:00.

    She has a 16-25 railcard.

    three routes seem available.
    Manchester-London-Cambridge( WCML)
    Manchester-Birmingham-Cambridge(via Leicester)
    Manchester-Peterborough-Cambridge(via Leeds or Sheffield).

    Can any offer advice as to which is best?
     
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  3. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    If you want it cheap, I managed to get a £35 route once with no railcards with split ticketing, if you're not bothered about cost, personally I'd say get an any permitted ticket and travel via London.

    If it's at the University, can I recommend being there a LONG time beforehand, it's an awful long way....
     
  4. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Will they reimburse her travel expenses? If so, I reckon the Route +Any Permitted Off-Peak Return ticket, priced at £57.50, is her best bet. This allows her to travel via London, which is a much better route to take than the route via Nottingham and Peterborough in many respects and the time she needs to travel is outside the restricted hours for that ticket too.
     
  5. NSE

    NSE Established Member

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    Ahh if it's for the uni then bloody well done! Sadly I may live there, but not up to Uni scratch!
    Its also worth pointing out its a long walk from the station to the city centre, and depending on where the College she is going to it could be further. If you want help getting around the city centre, give us a shout, I can help with buses and stuff.

    Also I'd recommened via London if you can, Manchester to London trains are every 20 mins (as I'm sure you are aware) and London to Cambridge twice non stop, 1 semi fast and 1 stopper. So plenty of flexibility should one get cancelled. (mind you thats only from Kings Cross, Two an hour also operate from Liverpool Street too).
     
  6. bengolding

    bengolding Member

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    There is a guided busway outside the station, with plenty of buses going into the city centre. I was once at an interview at Fitzwilliam, Cambridge and it took far longer than expected. As others have suggested, going via London is the best bet for flexibility plus it's only one short stop to Kings Cross on the Victoria/Northern Banch branch. I'd recommend getting the 10:35 VT to Euston and then the 13:15 non-stop to Cambridge which gets in just after 14:00.
     
  7. NSE

    NSE Established Member

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    I wouldn't touch that guided busway. Best bet is to get a dayrider, and then either Cities 1/3/7/8 into City centre.
     
  8. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Between Euston and King's Cross, it would probably be faster to walk if you go along the back streets. It can be a long way in and out of the underground system if you're not familiar with the shortcuts.
     
  9. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    the guided busway doesn't go into the centre- rather the opposite. It is one of the big weaknesses. However, the Stagecoach A route busway services go to the city from the station, and the Stageocach Dayrider is valid on them as well as the 1, 3, 7 and 8.
     
  10. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    If she's going to use the bus a PlusBus ticket would be best - £1.80 for unlimited travel around the city - not tied to a particular operator (though I think Cambridge mostly Stagecoach). Can be bought with the rail ticket or from the ticket office on arrival.
     
  11. CompactDstrxion

    CompactDstrxion Member

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    I highly doubt they are reimbursing the cost of the ticket.

    If the speed of the route doesn't matter as long as the times are adhered to then the cheapest option as I can see is to get split Off Peak Day Returns as follows:

    Manchester Stns - Nottingham £12.85 (this is a Super Off Peak Day Return)
    Nottingham - Ely Route Not London £16.90 (Route Not London is the only available routeing anyway)
    Ely - Cambridge £2.65

    Total cost £32.40 (with the railcard)

    You can view the available services for this combination on booking engines by entering Manchester to Cambridge via Nottingham.

    Fitting your schedule would be:

    09:43 Manchester Piccadilly - Ely 13:16 (East Midlands Trains) (this train calls at Nottingham on the way)
    13:26 Ely - Cambridge 13:44 (First Capital Connect)

    18:24 Cambridge - Ely 18:40 (National Express East Anglia)
    18:52 Ely - Nottingham 20:32 (East Midlands Trains)
    20:45 Nottingham - Sheffield 21:54 (East Midlands Trains)
    22:11 Sheffield - Manchester Piccadilly 23:02 (First Transpennine Express)

    There is a journey home an hour later at 19:25 arriving 00:02 should she be running late.
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2011
  12. pmgarvey

    pmgarvey Member

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    I did something similar and went via London, it wasn't too expensive on Advances, I'd definitely recommend this over the others if she wants to guarantee arriving stress free. Kings Cross is a short walk from Euston in my experience and I don't know the back way. Cambridge is practically a maze to those who don't know it (all the colleges look the same) so I'd allow a long time for that.
     
  13. dggar

    dggar Member

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    Thanks for all your answers.
    We are reasonably familiar with the layout of Cambridge having visitied there about a dozen times over the years, and are also familiar with the walk from Euston to Kings Cross.

    Still not decided as to whether to drive my daughter down as the rail journy times are arround 4 hrs which is about the same time as driving via M6 and
    A14
     
  14. David

    David Established Member

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    Don't forget to add on at least 1 hour for the stretch of the M6 from J12 down to the M42, then another half hour on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge!

    And no, I don't jest either .....
     
  15. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    It can be significantly quicker (Depening on where in Manchester you're driving from) to either cross over Woodhead or the M62 and drop down the A1 or M1 to the A14, avoiding the M6 is that bigger deal, even using the A50 is a reasonable option.
     
  16. David

    David Established Member

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    The M1 can be just as big a mess as the M6. J35 -31 then J29 - 24 in particular.
     
  17. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    M6, A50, M1, A14...?

    Or...

    M62, A1, A14...

    Depends on the time of day really...
     
  18. S19

    S19 Member

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    Option 1 is sound advice Nym :)

    During the day I always use the M6 A50 M1 and A14 route when I'm going to my friends in Peterborough and Lowestoft.

    You rarely get traffic on the A50. I've used the A50 from Stoke to the M1 at least 100 times over the past 5 years and I've only ever been stuck In traffic once, and that was only because they had the eastbound carriageway closed because of emergency roadworks near Uttoxeter.
     
  19. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Why do I get the feeling that if the A50 had been built as the M64 it would be a lot busyer than it is as the A50, although the eastern end could do with some work, new junction complex for the M1, A42 and A50, and local traffic, will result in a rather big junction from the proposals I've seen.

    But if it's Monday or Friday, the M6 between Stoke and Knutsford is utter hell... (As it being boring isn't bad enough)
     
  20. dzug2

    dzug2 Member

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    Another possibility is train to Milton Keynes then the X5 bus. Last time I looked there were advance cheapies available. Timings not a lot different to train via London
     
  21. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Bit risky though as if the bus is delayed it's new ticket time. Also interviews can overrun (especially if it's at the university). Of course you can schedule in a longer wait but that extends an already long journey time.

     
  22. pmgarvey

    pmgarvey Member

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    You get the X5 when you've become a student. It's cheap, but it makes Pacers feel like they should be pressed into service as sleepers, and the Victoria line at rush hour look quiet.
     
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