Some nine months on from launch, Clarkes of London’s commuter coach service from Peters Village now has 11 regular customers.
The 764a and 764b service picks up from the bus stops at Keepers Cottage Lane (05:52 and 06:30) and Village Road (05:50 and 06:28).
Clarkes’ Commuter Manager Sarah Hackett said: “There has been a steady take-up drawn from the 200 or so properties now occupied at Peters Village. The level is about what we would expect from a new community that still has a lot of growing to do – 1,000-plus homes being projected.
“Clearly, many people are attracted to Peters Village by its ‘commutability’ in relation to Central London, a trend that can only continue as the area grows and becomes more widely known across the South East and further afield.”
But she added that recruitment to Clarkes’ service will also be driven now and in the future by those converting from rail commuting to save time and money: they face an easy walk to the bus stop – no more than a minute for most current users – and pay £320 for a monthly or £2,915 for an annual ticket to any part of Clarkes' London route.
By contrast, a rail user faces a monthly fare of £385.60 or £4,016 annually if they travel from Strood to Canary Wharf - more if commuting further into London - on top of which they face a 15 minute drive each way at the Peters Village end, daily station parking of £5.40, and changes at Stratford International Station to use the DLR to and from Canary Wharf.
Users can also use Halling and Snodland stations though, but this still requires changes and incurs parking charges, unless they cycle from Peters Village.
But Sarah Hackett added: “The coach really is a cheaper and more stress and hassle-free option and, while Canada Square, Canary Wharf is our first dropping off point as the service enters London, we have several more across the key areas of London before the service terminates at Victoria Coach Station.
"Commuters can benefit from several offers to switch their current commuting by rail or car, including ‘try before you buy’, 20% off a first ticket purchase, and a trade-in deal against an existing rail season ticket while also benefiting from free on-board wi-fi, a guaranteed (and reclining) seat, and a mobile phone tracker for coaches operating the service."
Trenport Director Chris Hall said: “Clarkes of London’s commuter service has undoubtedly added to the attractions of Peters Village for those who want the rural lifestyle it offers, while keeping ‘big city’ employment options open and we expect many would-be re-locators to be attracted as we move closer to the community’s 1,000-home completion.”
Clarkes of London's promotional leaflet is featured below, but for more details and times on the Peters Village 'Medway Service' please go to www.clarkescommute.co.uk or call 020 8778 6697.
Founded in 1958, Clarkes operates more than 50 coaches on commuter routes, plus private and VIP hire, and is part of The Kings Ferry group within National Express.
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