I thought this should be cheap, but realized that it is going to be quite expensive ... between 100-150 pounds for a return ticket via bus. Is there any other affordable way (via bus, train, ...) to commute between the two cities? I imagine there must exist a third city that I could cheaply travel to/from Cambridge and Sheffield and somehow break the costs. But not familiar with the country.

Even if one travels from Cambridge to London and take the bus from there to Sheffield, it would be several times cheaper than the direct Cambridge to Sheffield trip. But that means at least 4.5 hours extra time being spent on the trip.

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    How regularly are you commuting? Have you looked into season tickets?
    – skifans
    Feb 25, 2018 at 13:06
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    In the UK, this would be considered a crazy commute if you were doing it daily. Not just because of the distance involved, but also so due to the specific transport links required, the time required, and the number of major urban centres along your route that you could have chosen to live/work in instead. I urge you to reconsider your choice before you get locked in. Feb 25, 2018 at 17:28
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    I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying it's impractical. I live along the route you would take (roughly an hour closer to your destination), and going to Cambridge is a weekend trip. Travelling there and back for an afternoon meeting once every few months would probably be acceptable. Going every day for work, you will burn out very, very quickly (and this is coming from someone who, for complicated reasons, travels 125 miles to spend 2-3 days & nights away for work each week, and has done for the last decade — which is comparatively easy!). Feb 25, 2018 at 17:36
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    This is a completely implausible commute. It's at least 2.5hrs each way, by any means of transport except a helicopter. Actually, I don't understand the scenario. If you're not in the UK, why would you go to Sheffield and commute to Cambridge, instead of just goin to Cambridge? It makes no sense. Feb 25, 2018 at 18:39
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    Reading the OP's other question I suspect that this might be a weekly, rather than a daily commute. Alternatively it might be odd hours and not every day, with the option to work in transit (for study). It also sounds like a two-body problem. A solution might involve living at an interchange station and both commuting, though perhaps not splitting it 50:50 Feb 25, 2018 at 19:26

3 Answers 3


Do you need to travel at a given time on the day? If not, the National Rail site gives rail tickets for two days from now from £20.50 (one way) for a 2:55 hours (so say three hours) journey. This journey does require three changes, so not ideal. But there are other options for under £35 that require just changing once.

Even an anytime ticket that allows you to buy the ticket on the day and take any train on the route does not cost more than £72.10 for a round trip ticket. And if you are young or old you might be able to get a pass that gives you reductions every time you use a train.

An other planner I like to use (for planning purposes) is the Traveline site, which allows you to select your transport of choice, bus, coach or train, or a combination. And it goes from door to door if you set it for that.
Although for this journey it does not find any bus/coach journeys under 4:30 hours, with some changes.

In any case, I would go to the site of the actual company to get the most updated prices, specially when you need to book ahead.

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    If the OP routes via Leicester or Ely there would only be one change. From Leicester you get a slightly better type of train. Still takes about 3 hours though as you say.
    – mdewey
    Feb 25, 2018 at 12:20
  • The National rail site seems to give those variations as options even without adding the details. But it is good to try 'via' stations when they are less likely.
    – Willeke
    Feb 25, 2018 at 12:29

Not sure why you think the bus is that so expensive? https://www.nationalexpress.com/ offers round trips in March for about £36 (non-refundable, booked in advance).


Have you tried https://trainsplit.com (their site looks a bit unprofessional, but their app doesn't). Regardless they are National Rail Accredited.

I entered the details you mentioned and the most expensive costs £78 (return) but cheapest is £46.

enter image description here

  • This doesn't seem to be the cheapest option if I look at the other answer.
    – drat
    Feb 26, 2018 at 7:58
  • Of course. But it's a faster option... And I think trains are better than buses. I mean it's still an option.
    – Mark
    Feb 26, 2018 at 7:59
  • Why all the downvotes on this? Feb 26, 2018 at 9:44
  • @Willeke I said the most expensive ticket is £78... If you see the image, the cheapest is actually £46. Regardless it was a suggestion and I didn't give the same answer. So I don't see what the fuss is about.
    – Mark
    Feb 26, 2018 at 19:25
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    +1, split ticketing can save a lot of money. I don't think that "sometimes you can find an advance fare cheaper than £46.02" is a reason to disregard this answer: we don't know when the asker will be travelling or how far in advance they'll be able to book. Sometimes all the available "direct" bookings are expensive, and on those occasions split ticketing is a very useful tool to know about.
    – Pont
    Feb 27, 2018 at 7:55