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Picture of Stagecoach bus


Bus Services from Milton Keynes 

Most local bus services in Milton Keynes are now provided by Arriva. The yellow minibus fleet has now been largely replaced by bigger blue and cream buses. For more about the history of the local bus network click here.

Longer distance services to neighbouring towns and cities are provided by two competing bus operators - Arriva and Stagecoach. A  selection of their principal routes is shown on the diagram.

Short bus journeys can seem expensive, indeed rail can work out cheaper than buses for local journeys within Milton Keynes. However, bus fares tend to taper at longer distances and both Arriva and Stagecoach sell all day tickets.

Picture of Arriva bus


more info on these routes                                                    links to timetables


All Day Ticket

Many bus companies offer an All Day ticket although the name of the ticket may vary. Usually it is purchased on the bus and then is valid for the rest of the day on all the services of that company. There may be a few exceptions - typically All Day tickets cannot be used on London services.

What makes these tickets even better value, and this is not always advertised, is the ability to use the ticket on the services of more than one bus company. Often companies come to an arrangement with neighbouring companies to accept each others tickets. So if you buy your ticket from one company, find out what arrangements it has made with other companies.

Both Arriva Shires & Essex and Stagecoach East offer an All Day ticket and have agreements to accept some other companies tickets. Arriva offers an All Day ticket called an Explorer whilst Stagecoach sells a range of Dayrider tickets.

Arriva Shires & Essex Explorers are issued and accepted on all local Arriva buses. So, for example, it is possible to buy an Arriva Explorer on a local city bus and use it to travel  on the Arriva express service 100 between Aylesbury and MK.  Arriva Explorers are also accepted by most bus companies in Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire covers St Albans, Stevenage, Welwyn, Hertford & Bishop's Stortford. For timetable information in this area visit the Intalink timetable site. To obtain a bus map for Hertfordshire, email a request to feedback.ptu@hertscc.gov.uk - don't forget to include your postal address!

Stagecoach has a more complicated range of tickets. A Dayrider ticket sold on the X5 route is valid thoughout the Oxford to Cambridge route as well as other Stagecoach East routes and routes in Oxfordshire.


All Day Ticket Prices

How much you pay will depend on which company you buy the ticket from. Stagecoach East charge 13.20 for an adult X5 Dayrider ticket and 9.70 for children. 

Also a family ticket is available for a group of up to 5 people (maximum of 2 adults) for 24.20.

An Arriva Shires & Essex adult Explorer costs 8.50. A group Explorer costs 12.50. A group can consist of up to 4 people travelling together. This can be a mix of adults and children but a group of 4 adults is ok and at only 12.50 is obviously very good value. 

Arriva also sells a Day Saver ticket which might be of interest to those who only wish to travel locally within Milton Keynes.




Double-Decker Note

Double-deck buses are not everybody's cup of tea but on rural routes they do give a much better view of the countryside. Also, for children living in a city where the minibus rules, the double-deck bus may offer a novel travel experience. 

Double-deck buses are  of course common in London and the big cities. Outside the big cities they are less common. However, double-deck buses may be found on some routes featured on this page. There is no guarantee but they are often used on services X4 and 280. If you are thinking of taking the children on a double decker then consider the X4 to Northampton.

New Buses to Northampton

Most X4 journeys are operated by smart, modern, double deck buses equipped with wifi and leather seating. The route to Northampton is through attractive countryside with only a couple of stops. 

Rail has the edge for speed and frequency between Milton Keynes and Northampton. Off-peak railcard fares are in line with the bus fare. However, if you cannot obtain a railcard discount then the day return fare on the X4 bus will be cheaper than rail at only 6.60 for an adult.

Dayrider Gold tickets are, of course, accepted on the X4.






MK Day Saver

Arriva offers an all day ticket, for use on its MK network, for 4.20. While this ticket cannot be used for long distance trips, it can still offer significant savings to the local traveller intending to make more than a couple of journeys. Also note that Arriva's MK network does include some routes outside of the city such as service X60 to Buckingham. However, Aylesbury, Luton & Leighton Buzzard are not included.


MK Family Saver

A group version of the Day Saver ticket is available for 8.00. It covers a group of up to  2 adults and 4 children travelling together. .


Picture of MK Metro minibus

Arriva in MK





Selected Weekday Bus Routes

  Route Frequency Operator External Link
81 Bedford - Luton hourly Stagecoach East Timetable
X4 Milton Keynes - Kettering - Peterborough hourly Stagecoach Midland Timetable
X5 Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge every 30 mins Stagecoach East Timetable
99 Milton Keynes - Luton express hourly Stagecoach East Timetable
70 Milton Keynes - Dunstable - Luton  hourly Arriva Shires & Essex Timetable
150 Milton Keynes - Leighton Buzzard - Aylesbury hourly Arriva Shires & Essex Timetable
280 Aylesbury - Oxford every 20 mins Arriva Shires & Essex Timetable
S1 Oxford - Witney  every 15 mins Stagecoach Oxford Timetable
S3 Oxford - Blenheim Palace - Chipping Norton  hourly Stagecoach Oxford Timetable
66 Oxford - Swindon every 30 mins Stagecoach Swindon Timetable
70 Swindon - Marlborough hourly Stagecoach Swindon Timetable
X30 Oxford Wantage every 30 mins Stagecoach Oxford Timetable
9 Cambridge - Ely hourly Stagecoach East Timetable
11 Cambridge - Bury St Edmunds hourly Stagecoach East Timetable


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The information contained here is believed to be correct and there is no intention to mislead but times, fares and special offers often change and so it is always worth checking with the operators for the latest information. Click here for useful links and phone numbers.

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