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Bus or train? London - Cambridge

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What are the pros and cons of bus or train travel from central London to Cambridge and Cambridge to Stansted airport?

I see that National Express bus service will do it all for £43.50 for three of us, and by train it will be £69.30.

Other than the train being faster, are there other reasons to pay the extra money?

It looks quite easy to walk from the bus station in Cambridge to the center of town (Crowne Plaza). Is the train station within walking distance with luggage?

Are trains and buses equally reliable? Can I count on the posted departure and arrival times?

Do I need to book ahead for these routes or are seats usually available? (Morning travel to Cambridge and mid-day to Stansted.)

Thanks for any advice.

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