Well we do this stretch every day by car from the station and it takes 45 mins!!!! The traffic is normally queuing from the junction with the A21 onto the Quarry hill and seems to get worse every week. Even though there is a small amount of bus lane, it is no quicker as it stops so often.
With this in mind, I would think it best for him to continue by train to Twells then walk up or even get a bus from the station that way up to Skinners.
I agree no point in trying the bus route during half term as it will take half the time.
I would be interested to hear how long it would take to walk from Twells station to Skinners. That may be more useful to try during half term. I'm guessing 20 minutes.