Long-distance travel disrupted as coach operators halt services

Long distance bus operators in the UK and Europe have announced a halt to services, while other operators worldwide are running reduced services as a result of the latest wave of COVID-19.

national express buses lined up

Both National Express and Megabus have suspended their bus services in light of the latest Coronavirus restrictions to hit the UK, which prevents all but essential travel.

National Express, which runs hundreds of services every day to almost every major UK city, says it does not expect to get its coaches back on the roads until 1 March, though it stresses this is under regular review. Passengers which have trips booked with the operator up until 30 September will be entitled to a full refund or can amend their trip free of charge.

In a similar move, Megabus has cancelled all trips after Sunday 10 January in England and Wales. Megabus is operated by Stagecoach and offers low-priced long-distance coach travel within the UK. Again, customers with tickets for travel after this date will, according to Megabus, be contacted via email to amend their booking or claim a full refund.

The only exceptions to this mass cancellation are services in Scotland and the London to Glasgow route, which also stops in Birmingham and Manchester. These routes are for essential travel only in accordance with UK Government guidance, according to the company.

FlixBus, a German company which operates long distance routes throughout Europe, has also parked up its buses for the time being. As a result of lockdown measures that came into effect in Germany in late December, FlixBus announced the cancellation of all its services between 17 December 2020 and 11 January 2021 within Germany. At the time of writing, no date for the resumption of services had been specified.

Greyhound in the US is still operating services as normal, though everybody apart from children under the age of two must wear a face covering on its services according to the operator.

Greyhound Australia, however, is operating a vastly reduced service. At present, only the Brisbane to Cairns, Adelaide to Darwin (via Alice Springs,) and Canberra to Melbourne routes are in operation, leaving Sydney and Perth at present unconnected.