A NEW coach service to London is set to start this autumn aimed at helping the unemployed get back into work.
Peter Warren, boss of Barcroft Coaches, came up with the idea of creating a daily coach service to the capital after he faced a spate of unemployment in his career.
The 61-year-old former engineer is originally from the east end of London.
And he knows all about the problems of the daily commute on the train.
Peter said: “I know all about commuting in London having lived and worked there.
“It’s hard enough travelling from Hastings and then having to do a day’s work.
“Hastings has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the south east. I know what it’s like to be unemployed and having all the skills but nowhere to use them. I was made redundant from my job as an engineer 10 years ago.
“If you have the skills and are prepared to travel, you will find work in London.
“And I want to introduce a competitive, user friendly and reliable service where people can relax after hard day’s work.” Peter plans to introduce one 50-seater coach service in September and take on two new drivers.
It will make its first pick up from Bexhill town centre at 5.30am and go into St Leonards and Hastings before moving up to Robertsbridge and Hurst Green. The coach will aim to reach Canary Wharf by 8am.
A return journey will leave Victoria Coach Station at 5.15pm with the aim of returning to Bexhill by 8.30pm.
The coach will have wi-fi, leather seating, air conditioning and drinks service.
It will cost £28 for a day return ticket and £2,400 for an annual pass.
Peter added: “It is good value for money and people are guaranteed a seat in comfort.
“They can relax there and back and not worry about cramped and hot conditions.
“I want to keep the costs down for people so that if someone can get a job in London it makes it more economical for them.
“An annual pass costs £2,400 which works out at £10 a day, which is great value.
“There are coach firms from Kent already doing this but none in this area. If it is successful then we plan to introduce more coaches on the run. Full prices for tickets are: Single £22, Return £28, Weekly (Monday to Friday) £70, Monthly £260, Quarterly £720 and Annually £2,400. For more information visit www.barcrofttours.co.uk or call 01424 200201.