Successful launch of M4 express
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• The introduction of a new non-stop Bristol to London express service running via M4 motorway was successfully undertaken by Bristol Greyhound on Sunday (CM last week). The service is operated twice daily, seven days a week, and completes the trip in 2+ hours, compared with the long-established service via A4, which takes 4+ hours, calling at Bath, Chippenham, Swindon (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only), Marlborough and Reading.
Departure times of the non-stop service are 9 am and 7.30 pm from each end of the route, and the period return fares are £2.50 adult and £1.30 (child), compared with £2 and £1, respectively, on the established service. However, day return fares of £1.80 (95p child) are available.
Two Plaxton-bodied Leyland Leopards left Marlborough Street coach station, Bristol, on the 9 am departure on Sunday, and the first vehicle, with all its 47 seats booked, arrived at Victoria with 20 minutes to spare. The second coach, which carried a party of officials, including Mr Edward Butcher, director and general manager of the parent company, Bristol Omnibus Co Ltd, and its traffic manager, Mr Bernard Bootham, was given a ceremonial send off and arrived at the London terminus with 10 minutes to spare after what Mr Butcher described as a "comfortable but uneventful journey" (writes Derek Moses). Eight fare-paying passengers also travelled on the . second coach.
For much of its length the new section of M4 has no service areas yet. although diesel fuel pumps are now operating at one of two service areas under construction. Cover for any emergencies is provided along the route by Bristol Omnibus Bath and Swindon depots, Alder Valley (Reading) or Samuelsons (London).
A high standard of comfort is provided in the modem Plaxton-bodied Leopards, the latest examples of which are fitted with Webasto heaters.