TRIVIA: Direct Buses Faster Than Direct Trains

peterblue

Member
Joined
25 Jun 2018
Messages
272
Location
Preston
Sunday 15th May was (supposed!) to be the first day of DalesRail, between Blackpool and Carlisle via Clitheroe and Settle, once per week in each direction. Unfortunately, it was cancelled today on the first day.

But, upon reading the timetable, I noticed something unusual. On Sundays there is a direct train between Clitheroe and Preston (normally requiring a change at Blackburn) and also a direct bus to Preston, the 280 by Stagecoach. The train takes 50 minutes from Clitheroe-Preston, but the bus only takes 46.

Are there any other examples of this in the UK- where a direct bus is faster than a direct train between 2 points?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

lxfe_mxtterz

Member
Joined
3 Mar 2018
Messages
581
Location
Horse Stables
Although not a huge saving, the Stagecoach bus 65 between Guildford and Farnham can sometimes be a few minutes quicker than the relative South Western Railway service. The train takes around 23-25 minutes, whilst most journeys on the bus are also 23 minutes, but there are a handful which are slightly quicker (up to 20 minutes).
 

APT618S

Member
Joined
7 Dec 2018
Messages
296
Kilmarnock Bus Station to Glasgow Bothwell St nr Glasgow Central is timed for 31min on Stagecoach's X76.
Typical trains take 35-40mins.
Due to the late morning Carlisle - Glasgow train having around 10mins waiting time at Kilmarnock, I have actually got off a train at Kilmarnock Station, walked down to the bus station and got the bus into Glasgow arriving before the train was due.
 

GusB

Established Member
Associate Staff
Buses & Coaches
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
4,483
Location
Elginshire
Inverness to Wick: 4h15 is the quickest timing by train, while the bus is just under 3h.
 

Shimbleshanks

Member
Joined
2 Jan 2012
Messages
825
Location
Purley
Belfast to Londonderry is 2hr 02 minutes by train, 2hr 00 minutes by express bus, thought at least one bus journey is timed at 1hr 50 min.
 

Flange Squeal

Member
Joined
17 Jul 2012
Messages
867
Richmond station to Kew Bridge station in south west London is typically 12 minutes by route 65 bus versus around half an hour by South Western Railway. BUT the trains run as part of a circular service, so while they do run direct without changes it might be a bit of a cheeky one.
 

InOban

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2017
Messages
3,713
Fort William to Glasgow. Bus is about 3 hours, train nearly 40 minutes longer.

Inverness to Kyle , bus 2hr 8m. Train nearly 2 40.
 

Flying Snail

Established Member
Joined
12 Dec 2006
Messages
1,208
Belfast to Londonderry is 2hr 02 minutes by train, 2hr 00 minutes by express bus, thought at least one bus journey is timed at 1hr 50 min.

Train is 2h12 and the rail station in Derry is far enough away from the city centre that a free shuttle bus is provided.
 

railwaytrack

Member
Joined
7 Mar 2022
Messages
254
Location
Pluckley
Sunday 15th May was (supposed!) to be the first day of DalesRail, between Blackpool and Carlisle via Clitheroe and Settle, once per week in each direction. Unfortunately, it was cancelled today on the first day.

But, upon reading the timetable, I noticed something unusual. On Sundays there is a direct train between Clitheroe and Preston (normally requiring a change at Blackburn) and also a direct bus to Preston, the 280 by Stagecoach. The train takes 50 minutes from Clitheroe-Preston, but the bus only takes 46.

Are there any other examples of this in the UK- where a direct bus is faster than a direct train between 2 points?
If you are travelling between Pevensey & Westham and Polegate or vice versa than it is much quicker to take the Stagecoach route 6 bus. The bus takes 12-14 minutes while the train takes 22-24 minutes. So the bus takes about half the time.
 

43055

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2018
Messages
2,316
The Transpeak is timed at 12 mins between Matlock and Ambergate while the train takes 14 towards Derby. The other way the train takes 15 mins and the bus is 17 mins.
 

Mikw

Member
Joined
20 Apr 2022
Messages
272
Location
Leicester
I'd probably say Leicester to Birmingham.

National Express runs from just down the road, but only goes to Digbeth, but it's usually 45 minutes, and quite a bit cheaper
 

peterblue

Member
Joined
25 Jun 2018
Messages
272
Location
Preston
I'd probably say Leicester to Birmingham.

National Express runs from just down the road, but only goes to Digbeth, but it's usually 45 minutes, and quite a bit cheaper

I see the fastest coaches taking 1h5m and the semifast train taking 48 minutes, unless I am missing something.z
 

Alex 2901

Member
Joined
30 Dec 2015
Messages
223
Location
Willenhall, West Midlands
Wolverhampton to Walsall.

By a very long margin:

Fastest trips on the 529 are given 28 minutes between Wolverhampton and Walsall. On average, it's given 37-38 minutes during the day.

For comparison, the daytime journey on the train is 62 minutes.

It was briefly even wider when the X529 ran - 28 minutes during the day.
 

Mcr Warrior

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
7,012
I've used the coach regularly and it's usually only about 45 minutes.
Where were you travelling to and from exactly? Fastest Leicester City Centre -> Birmingham (Digbeth) bus/coach journeys (National Express service 150) seem to be late evening services and timetabled at 1 hours 5 minutes, as @peterblue has reported. Doubt you'd manage 45 minutes during the day, even in a taxi.
 

Mikw

Member
Joined
20 Apr 2022
Messages
272
Location
Leicester
Where were you travelling to and from exactly? Fastest Leicester City Centre -> Birmingham (Digbeth) bus/coach journeys (National Express service 150) seem to be late evening services and timetabled at 1 hours 5 minutes, as @peterblue has reported. Doubt you'd manage 45 minutes during the day, even in a taxi.
Usually late morning, it's quite possible to do it in 45 minutes, the M69 and M6 are fairly quiet at that time of day
 

Chew-chew

Member
Joined
5 Aug 2019
Messages
103
Very marginal but York to Driffield is 1hr 45min by direct train and 1hr 33min on the now once a day route 45 bus. The bus was even quicker on the now ended 45A bus and that route was also faster than the train York to Bridlington.
 

Mcr Warrior

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
7,012
It's not uncommon for it to arrive at Digbeth well before the timetable says it should. Ok, so 45 mins is not that common, but 50 mins is quite regular.
Thanks for clarifying. So not actually timetabled as being quicker than the train, which does it in 48 mins, as advised by @peterblue .
 

plugwash

Member
Joined
29 May 2015
Messages
1,026
Stockport to Manchester airport is 15-20 minuites on the 199 bus depending on the time of day.

Most of the direct trains have been withdrawn, but the one train a day that still runs takes 28 minuites.
 

GCRS

Member
Joined
28 Nov 2016
Messages
24
I was going to suggest that the T19 bus from Llandudno - Blaenau Ffestinog would have been faster than the train, but it seems not. The train just beats the fastest bus.
 

61653 HTAFC

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
14,736
Location
Another planet...
Huddersfield to Bradford is often quicker on the X63 than the direct train, as it runs straight up the A644 for the most part. The train by comparison takes a rather circuitous route via Brighouse, Elland and Halifax.
 

DJames

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2017
Messages
155
Location
Tipton
If you can class it as a bus, the Megabus from Birmingham to Cambridge takes 2h 20min, whereas the direct train takes around 2h 45min. The coach would be a bit quicker too, if it didn't have to call at Coventry on the way.
 

Top