RUNNERS gearing up to take part in the London Marathon are being offered free coach travel to help them reach the start line.

Both the 24-hour Oxford Tube and X90 services, which run between the Gloucester Green bus station and London Victoria, are offering free return travel this weekend.

With the big run taking place for the 37th year on Sunday, hundreds of people from Oxfordshire are expected to take part and raise money for good causes.

On the Oxford Tube runners can claim free return travel on Saturday and Sunday by showing their race number, certificate or badge to the driver as they board the coach.

Operations Manager Rob Hough said: “We want to show our support for London Marathon runners in Oxfordshire by taking the hassle of travel away from them and providing them with an easy and comfortable way to get into London ahead of the race.

“We’d like to wish everyone all the best for the race. We’ll certainly be watching!”

On the X90, runners can travel for free on Sunday by showing their official race number, course pass or tabard.

A statement from the Oxford Bus Company, which runs the service, said: "You invest a lot of time and effort into training for the event, so the least we can do is to offer you something to show our appreciation for your dedication and commitment."

Runners have been advised to leave plenty of time to get to the race start.