A British woman undertaking an epic three-day expedition from London to Scotland using only local buses has expressed her surprise at the level of support from thousands of people following the chronicles of her journey on Twitter.
Writer and podcast host Emily Turner, from London, began her nearly 400-mile journey in the early hours of Friday, announcing on Twitter: “I’ve been wanting to do this for YEARS!!”, explaining that she “loves buses” and promising to share photos and observations along the way.
She plans to arrive at her destination, Edinburgh, on Sunday, taking 16 buses in total, and travelling exclusively by those that fall under the government’s £2 local bus programme.
Before boarding her first bus in London, she commented: “Rather amazed by the 1,200-ish new followers I’ve got for deciding to ride a bunch of buses.”
Turner, who hosts the Roundel Round We Go podcast about the London underground, planned her trip to coincide with her 35th birthday on Friday, and is attempting to keep the total cost under £35.
On Friday night, she tweeted: “And that concludes my 35th birthday. When my mother turned 35, she was about to give birth to me, but I feel like today I have given birth to a whole Twitter bus lover community, so to each their own.”
In response to one Twitter user who commented “I bet it’s going to cost more than a single megabus ticket”, Turner replied “Oh definitely! It was more about the journey than saving money.”
Upon arriving in Leeds, she explained some of the background to her penchant for public transport, saying: “Leeds is a city I’ve spent about three weeks in previously. They were while I was doing intensive teacher training, and I was spending a lot of time with large groups of people, which I found exhausting, so I’d escape and go ride buses.”
Riding up and down the valleys is incredible, and I love the sea in the distance (though I was on the wrong side). It was some of the steepest roads I’ve been on in a bus. pic.twitter.com/qre8SgaFP9
— Emily Turner (@ETWriteHome) February 11, 2023
Thousands of people around the UK have followed her account before and during her journey, providing tips and encouragement – and sharing their own bus-related anecdotes.
One Twitter user said: “Looks like you passed my house on the Stagecoach 59 from Barnsley this morning. Wish I’d known, I’d have got you a coffee and a sandwich from Noble’s at Busy Corner.”
Another said: “Going to be following Emily’s journey to Scotland via local buses all weekend – it’s all about the journey and who she meets along the way.”
Turner has been compiling a bus-themed playlist, with songs including Erica Banks’ Buss It and Vengabus by The Vengaboys.
Very fancy bus with tables and screens and everything – and these pointless lights that were working even though the USB chargers weren’t. pic.twitter.com/75gu7OCgwC
— Emily Turner (@ETWriteHome) February 11, 2023
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In response, she has been offered tips for audio accompaniments to the voyage: “I hope you liked the 16-minute @GratefulDead song I recommended earlier,” said one follower. “If you’ve got another long bus ride still to come, I’ve got a 30-minute one ready for you.”
A newer follower added: “Very much enjoying the @ETWriteHome bus tour … I did a similar hitchhike to Paris from Edinburgh in 2010. If you can muster the energy down to @NewbarnsBrewery when you make it to Edinburgh there will be a drink on the bar for you.”
Despite trying to adhere to a strict schedule en route to Scotland, Turner’s journey has been disrupted and delayed at various points. On Friday, she boarded an unplanned bus at Luton, and on Saturday, she got stuck after her card was declined – something which, it transpired, was because she had carried out more than the permitted number of Apple Pay transactions in a single day.
At the time of writing, Turner is in Newcastle. She plans to get the train back to London on Sunday evening.
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