Bus offer that passes the test

READERS have only this coming Saturday to get a special deal on Huntingdonshire s buses. The two local operators – Huntingdon and District, and Whippet Coaches – will take you home for nothing if you pay the single fare on October 13. The cut-price deal w

READERS have only this coming Saturday to get a special deal on Huntingdonshire's buses.

The two local operators - Huntingdon and District, and Whippet Coaches - will take you home for nothing if you pay the single fare on October 13.

The cut-price deal was brokered by The Hunts Post as a reaction to the operators' claims that new buses have transformed the experience of using public transport since the last time many people boarded a bus.

While they acknowledge that they have not yet finished updating their fleets, many of their buses are modern and comfortable and both are on the verge of investing millions of pounds in new vehicles for guided bus services from February 2009.

Last Saturday's return-for-the-price-of-a-single offer seemed to have been well-received by the public, Whippet's managing director, Peter Lee, told The Hunts Post yesterday (Tuesday).

"I have been talking to our people in St Neots, where there were quite a few extra passengers," he said.

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The same offer is repeated this Saturday, with traders in Huntingdon town centre offering special deals to holders of valid bus tickets for the day.

"The offer last week coincided with the Continental Market, so the weekend went extraordinarily well," Huntingdon's town centre manager Katy Sismore said. "And the bus offers will still be available this Saturday."

The deal covers not just shopping trips but leisure journeys too, so readers may wish to check out the two operators' websites - or telephone them - to find out how extensive their networks are within the district. H&D is on www.huntsbus.co.uk/ and Whippet on www.go-whippet.co.uk/.

Many local attractions are on or near bus routes, such as Hinchingbrooke Country Park, which is served by Huntingdon and District's 571 and 332 services. Paxton Pits nature reserve is close to the 566 route and Ramsey's Rural Museum is close to the town centre, which is served by the 330.

St Ives, with its historic town centre, riverside and chapel-on-the-bridge has scores of bus services every Saturday, including H&D's 553/4/5 and Whippet's 1, 5 and 15. Houghton's 18th-century mill, which is one of only two National Trust properties in Huntingdonshire, is served by the 555 and Whippet's 1A and 5 services.

Information on all bus services is available on Traveline on 0871 200 22 33, but the operators believe the quality of information on their own lines is far superior to the industry-wide bureau. H&D is on 01480 453159 and Whippet 01480 463792.

The offer applies to all services within Huntingdonshire on Saturday October 13, and includes journeys from Cambourne and Papworth to Huntingdonshire destinations. Journeys to and from Cambridge are excluded.

To take advantage of the Huntingdon town centre offers all passengers will need to do is present a valid bus ticket to Huntingdon for the day.

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