This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 16/07/2018.
The new coach service offering fed-up Southern Rail commuters an alternative way of getting to London
The company is creating a new service between East Croydon and Victoria.
A Croydon coach company will soon be offering commuters trips to both Victoria station and Canary Wharf, in what it is calling an “alternative to the train chaos”.
Mayday Travel, based in Beddington Lane, has been running for 30 years, and company manager James Nolan is keen to give Croydonians a more comfortable morning commute.
The services will run from East Croydon station and will stop at Victoria station before heading on to Canary Wharf.
“If it becomes popular, then we would definitely consider adding a Clapham Junction stop as well,” Mr Nolan explained.
“We know how unpleasant commutes on the trains can be, especially with all the train issues going on at the moment.
“What we will offer is a guaranteed seat at a very good rate, and somewhere for commuters to work while commuting, because it’s almost impossible to get a seat on the train in the morning.”
Mayday Travel already runs a host of different services in Croydon, including private school bookings and general event transport, but this will be the first service it will offer for commuters.
All of its coaches have air conditioning and wi-fi, and Mr Nolan therefore believes it will be a very popular alternative for London workers stressed out by all the problems with Southern Rail and Thameslink services.
The current plan is for the coach to arrive in Canary Wharf for 8.30am, stopping at Victoria shortly before 8am.
Mayday Travel is also offering a return journey, which would leave Canary Wharf shortly after 5pm, stopping at Victoria at around 5.40pm.
The full timetable is still in the planning stage, but Mr Nolan says there is always room for an increase in coaches if the service proves popular.
“We think it would take about one hour and 20 minutes from start to finish. Of course with any travel there is a chance of delays with traffic, but our drivers are very experienced and know all of the back roads,” he stressed.
“Our number one goal is to always make sure the customer arrives at their destination on time and, as we’d be transporting commuters, it’s really vital that we do that.”
The plan is for prices of return tickets to start at £9.50 depending on where you are planning on getting off the coach.
Mr Nolan is hopeful that the idea will really take off as an alternative to rail travel, as he has experienced East Croydon station in the morning and knows just how busy it can get.
He added: “A guaranteed seat is impossible unless you book first class on trains, and that’s incredibly expensive. So we want to give commuters a proper alternative to the train chaos.”
A date is yet to be fixed for the start of the service, but James says customers should keep an eye on the company’s website for updates.