Civil servant completes 260-mile journey from London to Morecambe in 24 hours – on the bus

·4-min read
(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
Jo Kibble planned his route meticulously to see how far he could go by bus in 24 hours. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)

A civil servant has completed a 260-mile mile journey by bus from London to Morecambe in a day.

Jo Kibble, 39, from Greenwich, went from the capital to the seaside Lancashire town in the space of 24 hours using only public transport buses.

The journey took him 21 hours and 24 minutes and saw him hop on and off a number of buses to make his way up the country.

(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
Jo Kibble passed through Slough Bus Station on his journey. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
Jo Kibble posted a video to his followers after his 24-hour bus trip. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
Some of the bus tickets purchased by Jo Kibble during his trip. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)

Kibble, head of the leader's office at Ealing Council, documented his trip last Friday on Twitter, posting images and videos to chronicle the journey.

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He wanted to see how far he could travel from London within a 24-hour window, and planned his route meticulously – and on paper – using bus timetables.

His journey cost a combined total of £56.95, compared to the train fare of £73.50.

Kibble started his journey at 3am on Friday, taking the N9 to Heathrow Airport.

He then made his way through Slough and up past the Chiltern Hills.

Kibble arrived at his final destination, Morecambe Bus Station, at 29 minutes past midnight on Saturday, six minutes ahead of schedule.

Thousands of people followed his progress on Twitter, as he was accompanied by a crocheted tortoise and delved into a lunch packed by his wife that contained chocolate biscuits and lychees.

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So why did he do it?

“Like lots of people, I've seen plans for holidays abroad scuppered over the past 18 months, and built up a huge backlog of untaken annual leave,” Kibble told Yahoo News UK on Monday.

“With travel becoming possible again, this seemed like a fun way to get out of London for a bit and to see some places I've never been to before, as well as fulfilling my personal love of timetables, trip planning and logistics.”

(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
Jo Kibble was accompanied by a crocheted tortoise and some lychees on his bus journey. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)

Kibble described the trip through the Peak District from Derby to Buxton as “absolutely stunning”, but said the highlight was arriving late at night at Preston Bus Station.

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“This is a huge brutalist landmark, which was threatened with demolition, and now has a cult following – from the moment I started tweeting about this challenge, people were telling me I had to go there.

“It really is an amazing building, a sort of temple to public transport, and on a wet Friday night in August, seeing it all lit up was strangely heartwarming.”

(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
Jo Kibble had high praise for the architecture of Preston Bus Station. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
The last bus on Jo Kibble's journey, from Preston to Morecambe. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
(Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)
The planned route, written out by hand. (Jo Kibble/@politic_animal)

Kibble was less enamoured with Aylesbury Bus Station, which he described as a “concrete hole”.

He said: “It's the sort of place that really makes you think public transport users can get treated like second-class citizens.”

He added: “Overall, though, the real highlight was seeing a snapshot of the country's life, through its bus passengers, from dawn, through the working day and into a boozy Friday night.

“From a point of view of seeing the country, it's great to be high up, and also to travel at a more sedate pace through places you might not otherwise see from a high-speed train or a motorway.”

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