A NEW coach service has been unveiled in Basingstoke, offering a travel option for residents seeking to reach Heathrow Airport without the concerns brought about by the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) regulations.

The introduction of the inter-urban service aims to bridge the gap between Basingstoke and Heathrow, connecting through Frimley and providing a convenient alternative to driving through the expanding ULEZ.

The services, named Flight Line 730 and 731, will operate 21 hours a day and seven days a week.

London’s ULEZ for older vehicles is being expanded from August 29 and this includes Heathrow.

This means if you are driving from Basingstoke to Heathrow and your vehicle doesn’t meet minimum emissions standards, you should pay a daily fee of £12.50.

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The new coach routes, which will commence operations on Monday, August 21, are run by the transport company Newbury & District.

The Flight Line 731 route will feature limited stops, linking Basingstoke, Old Basing, and Frimley.

Meanwhile, the Flight Line 730 route will connect Frimley, Camberley, Bagshot, and ultimately reach Heathrow Terminal 5.

With a journey time of around 90 minutes from Basingstoke to Heathrow, and around 30 minutes from Camberley, the new service will run daily with services from around 2 am until midnight.

Between Frimley and Heathrow, services will run hourly all day and every one to two hours between Basingstoke and Frimley.

The service anticipates a substantial demand from Heathrow employees seeking efficient and economical commuting options.

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During the initial two weeks, all journeys will be priced at just £1, presenting residents with an opportunity to experience the convenience and benefits of the new route.

The double-decker buses boast contemporary amenities, including high-back seats, USB charging ports, and complimentary WiFi.

There’s no need to book tickets in advance. You can purchase singles, returns and weekly tickets onboard from drivers. You can also buy returns, weekly and monthly tickets in the Newbury & District app on phone.

National Express once operated direct services from Basingstoke to Heathrow, but it was discontinued later.

County and borough councillor Arun Mummalaneni said he is glad to see the new service being introduced.

He said: “I had personally reached out to National Express in the past, advocating for the reintroduction of the crucial connection.

“I’m enthusiastic about the 'Flight Line 730/731' service to our community. This initiative goes beyond connecting with the airport; it serves as a pivotal link for the areas in-between. It caters to the evolving transportation needs of our residents while also promoting a greener and more sustainable environment."