There are different options available to let you explore the UK. For local travel, it is very easy and cheap to travel by bus, however for national journeys, you will need to go by train or coach. Stoke has a train station that links to the national rail service – this means you will be able to get virtually anywhere within England, Wales and Scotland. However, you will likely have to change trains or coaches, depending on where you want to go.
If you want to go into Hanley or Newcastle from the campus, you might want to go by bus (especially if the weather is bad!).
A single journey will usually cost £1-2 and a return £3-4. You catch a bus by standing at a bus stop (this is usually a pole in the ground with a small sign at the top saying “bus stop” – occasionally they have shelters next to them). On the front of a bus is a number – this tells you what journey the bus will take and where it will stop. When the bus approaches, raise your arm a little so the bus driver knows that you want the bus to stop there. When you get on, tell the driver where you want to go and whether you want a single or return journey. The driver will tell you how much to pay. Keep hold of your ticket in case an inspector wishes to see it or if it is a return, as you will need to show the ticket to the bus driver on the bus back.
If you expect to be using the bus a lot then there are weekly and monthly tickets available – these will usually work out cheaper than buying tickets for each journey. You should ask in Hanley bus station for more information. You can also find out more about ticket prices here - https://www.firstgroup.com/potteries/tickets/ticket-prices
- Buses from Stoke campus to Hanley: 25, 21A
- Buses from Stoke campus to Newcastle: 25
For further details on the main local bus services in and around the local area, visit https://www.firstgroup.com/potteries. You can also use https://www.firstgroup.com/potteries/plan-journey/journey-planner to plan your trips around the city.
Coach is just another term for bus. However, they are different from the local bus service as they go much further and you have to buy your ticket before you get on the coach.
As the coaches are not restricted by railway lines, they stop in more places than trains. Travelling by coach is often much cheaper than going on the train, however journeys will usually take longer. To save even more you can get a Young Persons or Student Coachcard. This costs £10 and will save you up to 1/3rd on coach journeys for 1 year. Look at National Express for more information – they also offer “fun fares” which are very cheap seats. Again, the more in advance you book, the more money you will save.
MegaBus is a company who can offer seats for £1 each way! The trick to buying anything from them is to buy it very far in advance. They offer limited services – for instance, from Stoke you can only travel to London or Liverpool by Megabus. However, it is worth looking at other stations – for instance, where can you travel to from Birmingham or Manchester? These are both very big stations with more travel links and they are both under £10 to travel to from Stoke!
There are ways for you to save money when travelling on the train. Your journey should be outside of peak times. Peak times are Monday – Friday, before 9.00 and between 15.30 – 18.30.
It is very important you buy the correct type of ticket – if you buy your ticket at the train station then the staff will be able to help you.
For information – Saver Single/Return, Super Saver Single/Return or Cheap Day Single/Return tickets can ONLY be used outside of peak time. Standard Open Single/Return can be used at any time.
Booking your tickets more than 2 weeks in advance will usually save you money, especially if you wish to go to London. In some cases, the earlier you book your tickets, the more money you will save.
You can also buy a Young Persons Railcard for £20 which will save you 1/3rd of rail fares for 1 year. This is valid if you are aged 16 – 25 OR if you are 26 or over and a full time student.
For train timetable, go to the National Rail website.
Taxis are very useful if you are carrying lots of luggage, travelling in a small group or if you need to travel very late at night or very early in the morning.
Travelling by taxi can be expensive so you should decide whether it would be better to use another form of transport. In Stoke you must not hail a taxi in the street – this is not safe and you may not be insured. You must always telephone a company and book a taxi – tell them where you are, where you want to go and how many people there will be. You will also have to tell the company your name so they know how to identify you. It is recommended that you ask how much a journey is likely to cost before getting into the taxi. It is common to tip the driver after the journey – usually about 10% of the total cost. Short journeys, for instance, between campus and the town centre will cost around £4-6.
Here are some numbers for local taxi firms:
City Cabs: 01782 844444
Intercity: 01782 266466