If any part of a route or site is within about a mile of a public transport connection, there will be information within its "Route & Access" page. We have also provided links to public transport websites that are currently available. As these services develop, we hope that it will become possible to provide links from routes or sites to specific services.
Bedfordshire has stations on three main lines - East Coast, Midland and West Coast - and one branch line - Marston Vale which links the Midland Main Line at Bedford with the West Coast Main Line at Bletchley where passengers can change for the short journeys to Milton Keynes Central and Leighton Buzzard.
There are a number of operators as shown below. They run trains to London, Sussex, the Midlands, the North of England, North Wales and Scotland. In general, you do not need to book in advance for local journeys and the easiest way to get information on rail services is through National Rail Enquiries call 08457 48 49 50 or visit or www.nationalrail.co.uk.
First Capital Connect (formerly Thameslink) – services from Sussex (Brighton, Gatwick,), Surrey, South and Central London (Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farrington and St Pancras International)
Stations at: St. Albans, Harpenden (Herts), Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick & Bedford www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk
Tel. 0845 026 4700
East Midlands Trains – services from London St Pancras International, the East Midlands and Yorkshire
Stations at Luton Airport Parkway, Luton & Bedford
E-mail - email@example.com
Tel. 08457 125678
East Coast - services from London King's Cross, Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland
Stations at Hitchin (Herts) & Arlesey, Biggleswade, Sandy
Tel: 08457 225 225>
London Midland – services from London Euston, the West Midlands and Liverpool Lime Street
Stations at Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley and Milton Keynes Central
Tel. 0845 602 4277
London Midland also operates services on the Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley) The Line has stations at Bletchley, Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill, Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Ridgmont, Lidlington, Millbrook, Stewartby, Kempston Hardwick, Bedford St Johns, Bedford.
The route is overseen by the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership (MVCRP) which acts as a bridge between the local communities and their railway. MVCRP is one of a growing number of Community Rail Partnerships across the country.
MVCRP is led by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity with a wide range of other partners from local authorities along the line, parish councils, the rail industry and the voluntary sector.
The aim of the MVCRP is to improve facilities for existing users and to generate new business for rail, increasing the number of people using the line for work and leisure, thereby ensuring that the line has a long and financially sustainable future.
For further information visit www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org.uk or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org call 01234 832645.
Bedford Borough Council
Visit www.bedford.gov.uk/transport_and_streets/public_transport/timetables_and_maps.aspx or call the Bedford Bus Information Hotline on 01234 718005 (open Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or by email at email@example.com
Central Bedfordshire Council
Visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/public_transport/timetable_information/default.aspx or call 0300 300 8000.
Information on journeys further afield is available is available from Traveline - www.travelsmartuk.com or call 0871 200 22 33 (lines open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily except Christmas Day).
Also see www.travelsmartuk.com which has useful information about car sharing and cycling as well as bus and train travel.
The one thing these schemes have in common is that they are operated by people working together to solve their own transport needs. These schemes are nearly always dependent on voluntary effort and are most successful when the work load is shared by a large number of dedicated people.
There are a variety of community transport schemes within Bedfordshire. Some of these schemes do not fit neatly into categories, but broadly they can be split into the following types:
Any group operating a minibus and wishing to accept money from their members towards the cost of travel, even if that charge is not called a fare, needs to hold a Section 19 Small Bus Permit. This includes where the members club together to pay for the petrol, even if there is no profit made.
All community non-profit making groups can hold a Section 19 Permit. Examples of such groups include Scouts and Guides, sports clubs, and Senior Citizens organistations. All members of the Bedfordshire Community Transport Brokerage scheme are required to hold a permit.
A Permit costs £5 and is valid for 5 years.
For more information, or to apply for a permit, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 832645.
The National Concessionary Travel Scheme allows people aged 60 or over, or those with a qualifying disability to travel on local buses (including community buses) free of charge anywhere in England at off-peak times. Off-peak is defined as the hours between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
In addition to the national concession the following local schemes apply:
Bedford Borough - free travel on at any time for local bus journeys wholly within Bedford Borough
Central Bedfordshire - free travel at any time on local bus journeys
Bedfordshire residents can also travel for half the normal fare on the following rail services:
First Capital Connect trains between Sandy, Biggleswade and Arlesey and any station as far as Hadley Wood, Crews Hill and Royston
First Capital Connect trains between Bedford and Elstree & Borehamwood
East Midland trains between Bedford and Luton Airport Parkway
London Midland services on the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Bletchley