The quiet early bird

PUBLISHED: 09:01 24 April 2009 | UPDATED: 21:45 31 May 2010

THE launch of a new early morning bus service from Saffron Walden to Audley End Station, which could be a huge benefit to commuters, went largely unnoticed. The first bus to depart the High Street in time to meet the 6am train to London Liverpool Street c

THE launch of a new early morning bus service from Saffron Walden to Audley End Station, which could be a huge benefit to commuters, went largely unnoticed.

The first bus to depart the High Street in time to meet the 6am train to London Liverpool Street completed its inaugural journey on Monday carrying only one passenger.

Chairman of Sustainable Uttlesford's transport group, David Corke, said: "We think it's a crying shame that, as yet, Essex County Council (ECC) has made so little effort to promote using buses to get to the station.

"The new timetables have yet to appear on the bus stops in Walden or at the station and ECC has never produced a timetable that shows all the buses you can use between the town and the station."

The new 590 service between Saffron Walden and the station via Rowntree Way allows commuters to start earlier and return later. The last bus home allows you to arrive on the 8.33pm train and will even wait for up to 10 minutes if the train is late.

The improved service, run by Viceroy Coaches, gives more flexibility to passengers who want to avoid the stations high car parking charges.

"We are delighted at the improvements," said Mr Corke. "It is something we have been trying to persuade the county council to do for ages and now a local bus company has provided a better service as a commercial venture and without any help from ECC."

The service also means that it is possible to use a cheap-day return into London and get the bus home.

Sustainable Uttlesford has produced a timetable which gives the times of all the buses to and from the station and the trains they connect with, it also gives route maps and times for all the other regular bus routes serving Saffron Walden.

The timetable is a free download at www.uttlesford.org.uk or for 25p from the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

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