STUDENT Simon Bright hit upon a novel way of getting home to Earlswood in time for Christmas - by advertising on a new website.
The 21 year-old is in his final year studying law at Swansea University but with money tight and parents desperate to see him for the holiday, he was finding it too expensive to go by coach or train the 150 miles back home.
“The train fare is about £40 one- way and I’d have to change at Bristol and with all my bags - it’s always a pain,” said the former Solihull School pupil.
Instead the enterprising student put an advert on the website www.anyvan.com a site normally used for people wanting to transport everything from parcels to furniture and machinery the length and breadth of the country rather than youngsters hoping to get home for Christmas. “We were kicking around various ideas when a friend suggested trying the website,” said Simon, who hopes to study at the College of Law in Birmingham next year. “It seemed a bit crazy and a stab in the dark but it has paid off.”
The first offer came in shortly after - at £156 - before gradually the price was whittled down to £25 which Simon plans to accept.
And although he recommends using www.anyvan.com to get from A to B, with a younger sister hoping to go to Cardiff University next year he struck a cautionary note.
“Obviously, getting into a van with a stranger is a bit of an unknown quantity, and I don’t think I’d be too comfortable about my sister doing it, but there are reputable companies that you can use out there,” said Simon, who eventually hopes to specialise in sports law and contracts.
“Also, if a few of you live in the same area you can share.”
Anna Cox from www.anyvan.com said: “The site was set up six months ago and it’s seen everything moved wherever it needs to go but we’ve never had a student on our books, and he’ll be saving quite a bit of money.”