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Commuting from St Neots

This page was compiled from various helpful posts on our forums. If you have anything to add or correct please post here. (information correct as of April 2008).

St Neots is a "Commuter Town", and its infrastructure is struggling to meet the demand that new housing developments are putting it under. Frequent complaints are a lack of capacity on the trains, and an extremely busy and expensive station car park.


St Neots Station

The costs for car parking are high, so if you can walk or cycle you will save significant money.

Daily car park costs: unknown
Monthly/Annual car park costs: unknown

Connecting bus services:

  • Eaton Socon, Eaton Ford (464)
  • Eynesbury (467)
  • Caxton, Eltisley, Papworth, Cambourne (18)
  • North St Neots, Little Paxton, Buckden (461/566)

Timetables downloadable from www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk

London by Train

To get to London, you take the Kings Cross train. Many of the slower trains also stop at Finsbury Park. (Only the very slow ones stop at Hatfield and Potters Bar)
A return ticket to Kings Cross will cost you £29 (£31 with a few tube stops included).
A weekly ticket costs approx £100, so you'd need to travel four or five days a week for it to be worthwhile.
A yearly ticket to London Terminals from St Neots costs £3700 this year. To include the tube it costs another £4600.
Tip:If you can get away with travelling to Old Street or Moorgate don't buy the tube ticket option as they are London Terminals and you can use the tube from Kings Cross to get there or the train from Finsbury Park - save yourself £2 a day or £900 a year!

Good luck trying to commute and get "off-peak" rates - you'll need to leave after 10am and return after 7pm. The cost is dramatically less if you can do this though (approx £14).

    06:43 - almost direct to Kings Cross, arrives at 07:27 and is much busier than it used to be. Seats reportedly scarce.
    06:56 - has enough seats, but stops at every hamlet on the way, and is chocka by the time it arrives at 07:52. Good for sleeping on.
    07:21 - arrives at 08:00, but seats are scarce. If you don't want to stand the whole way get to the platform ten minutes in advance and stake out your territory in one of the "commuter queues". Be advised, turning up seconds before the train pulls in and then standing next to the front of a queue is considered *very* bad form...
    07:40 - gets in at at 08:19 and the same applies as the 07:21 - get there early or stand.
    07:47 - 08:31 - not too sure how busy this train is, I'd imagine it is close to capacity.
    07:58 - 08:58 - this isn't a popular train, enjoy the surplus seats and take a book with you.

*** to give an idea of the seat shortage level, in most carriages there will be 3-6 people standing for the 07:21 and 07:40 trains ***

Update: Cllr Julia Hayward tells us that the 07:21 and 07:40 trains are due to be expanded from 8 to 12 carriages, but this is unlikely to happen until December 2008.

Once you're at Kings Cross, you're at one of the major underground hubs in London, so should have no problem getting the tube to work.

Returning home, the 18:07 is a good bet, arriving at 18:42. Get there 5-10 minutes early and you should get a seat. Earlier trains are less busy, but the direct trains only leave at 7 minutes past the hour (so the 17:07 is another excellent one to get if you can). Failing that, the 37 minutes past the hour trains only stop twice en-route to St Neots, so should be your next best bet.
The eariest "fast" train is the 16:40 - grab it if you are lucky enough to be able to!

Cambridge by Car

Thanks to the relatively recent road widening, the previous 45-60 minute commute now only takes 40-45 minutes.
Addenbrooks reportedly takes anywhere between 40-80 minutes to get to.
Cambridge Science Park takes around 40 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes coming home.
Forum user rooney warns: "If you haven't done this route before be warned about coming to a halt very quickly, especially before eltisley/caxton and when you arrive at girton."

Cambridge by Train

Not really an option, you'd have to head South and change. I've never done it but am pretty sure it would be a nightmare.

Cambridge by Bus

The Stagecoach X5 coach runs fast between St Neots and Cambridge every 30 minutes throughout the day.
Times from St Neots Market Square are as follows:

    04:45 arr 05:15
    05:47 arr 06:20
    06:17 arr 06:50
    06:32 arr 07:15
    07:05 arr 07:55
    07:35 arr 08:25
    08:05 arr 08:55
    08:47 arr 09:25
    09:17 arr 09:55
    Then at 17 and 47 minutes past the hour until 18:47

Journey times given in the timetable are approximate to say the least, many peak hour coaches can be held up in traffic and are frequently busy.

Return journeys depart Cambridge at xx:10 and xx:40 and can take anything up to an hour. The return journeys also seem to be a little busier. Be sure to arrive in good time.

Peterborough by Car

The A1 goes to four lanes just after Huntingdon, meaning a speedy-ish commute of approx 30 minutes. The main cause of this delay is the Buckden roundabout, especially during school term times.

Peterborough by Train

Quite a few trains to choose from, seat availability unknown at this time. It takes 26-30 minutes to arrive. The cost of the ticket is apparently about £15 though, which means driving is easier on your wallet (surely this shouldn't be right?!)

Huntingdon by Car

Straight up the A1, then take the A14 at Brampton Hut and go across Spittals Interchange (other routes may be better depending on where you work). Allow 25-30 mins. The main cause for delay here is the A14 junction, so you may be better driving further North and making your way back.

Huntingdon by Train

All of the Peterborough trains stop at Huntingdon, the journey takes 8 minutes.
Huntingdon Business Park is about a 25 minute walk away from the station though.

Stevenage by Car

Straight down the A1 and off at the A602 junction of the A1(M), this road can be followed to the centre of Stevenage and to many of the industrial parks. The journey has been known to take in the region of 50 mins or more in the mornings.
Common hold up areas are the Black Cat Roundabout, around the Biggleswade by-pass and on the roads into Stevenage.

Stevenage by Train

Easier than the car and quicker too. Journey time approximately 25mins. Departures from St Neots are at:

    06:55
    07:28
    07:58
    08:38
    09:07
    (These are the slower trains so you may stand a chance of getting a seat!)

Ideal returns are at:

    17:19
    17:50
    18:00
    18:17
    18:47
    19:17
    Expect many of these to be busy as you'll be sharing with London commuters who are after Hitchin, Arlesey, Biggleswade and Sandy as well.

Useful Links

Please remember that the information here may contain errors - we advise you to check timetables etc prior to your journey