news celebrates 10 years of transforming coach travel

Posted: 6 September 2013 | Stagecoach | No comments yet

30 million passengers benefited from low-cost fares in the UK over the past decade…

Market-leading budget coach operator will this weekend celebrate 10 years of transforming coach travel in the UK.

On Sunday (8 September) the low-cost coach provider – part of Stagecoach Group – will mark its birthday, 10 years after starting in Scotland with just three coaches.

Ten years ago people who wanted to travel by coach would turn up at the coach stop, stand in line for their journey and all passengers would pay the same fare. Now coach passengers can book their journeys weeks in advance, getting the best deals in the process. An online booking system, first introduced by, also allows more efficient use of the coach’s capacity. In fact, every full double deck vehicle is 14 times more fuel efficient than the same single occupancy trip by car*.

Since its launch in 2003,, which offers travel from £1**, has revolutionised coach travel, both in the UK and North America. The coach provider began in the UK, offering budget fares through a simple, online booking system. Fares were based on a pricing model followed by low-cost airlines, allowing people to grab a bargain by booking early.

Today operates more than 100 coaches to more than 60 towns and cities in the UK and Europe and carries around five million customers a year. The company’s coaches, which have an iconic livery featuring mascot Sid, have become an instantly recognisable sight on Britain’s road network.

In the past 10 years, more than 30 million customers have travelled with in the UK, – more than the combined population of Portugal, Greece and Austria. The company’s vehicles have travelled around 54 million miles in the past decade – the equivalent to 2,168 times around the world.

During that time, Stagecoach has also launched other UK products which can all be booked through the website. They include, which offers bargain train travel on Stagecoach’s rail networks, and, an integrated coach-rail service which connects a number of locations in the north of England with London.

Most recently Stagecoach launched a new product which provides luxury daytime coach services in Scotland, England and Wales as well as overnight sleepercoach services, with lie-flat beds, linking 11 locations in Scotland with London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol every night.

The success of the business in the UK has been replicated in the United States where has reinvigorated the coach industry in North America, and encouraged millions of people to make coach travel their number one transport choice.

Since its launch in the US in 2006, more than 25 million passengers have travelled with the market-leading brand. now covers over 120 key destinations in the United States and Canada and is continuing to attract more and more passengers, many of whom are choosing coach travel over driving or travelling by plane.

In North America, the ‘Megabus Effect’ has been credited with reviving the US coach industry. Until 2005, the coach travel market was in serious decline, with falling passenger numbers and shrinking networks. Then in 2006, there was a dramatic reversal with the launch of For the first time in years, the sector reported growth rather than decline. In 2006-07, the market grew by 6.9%. A new report, The Motor Coach Metamorphosis, released by the Chaddick Institute in January 2013, shows the “Megabus effect” is still a massive influence in transforming the once declining sector. It found that inter-city bus services grew by 7.5% between the end of 2011 and 2012 – the highest rate of growth in four years***.

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said, “ is undoubtedly one of the biggest public transport success stories of the past few decades and it continues to grow both in the UK and in the US.

“Over the last 10 years has made transport more affordable for millions of people, from families to students and senior citizens. This has been particularly important over the past five years during a tough economy when people are having to watch every penny. We like to try new things and we’re proud to have pushed the boundaries with – we will continue to explore new ways to deliver high-quality coach travel for our customers.”

Over the years, has invested millions of pounds in raising the standard of coach travel in the UK and US. All new vehicles now come complete with air conditioning, Wi-Fi and electric sockets as standard.

To mark the 10th anniversary on Sunday 8 September, 6,000 birthday cupcakes bearing mascot Sid’s face will be given away at stations. One lucky person on each service will also receive £10 to mark the occasion and the company is offering a full refund to any passengers travelling on Sunday who also share their birthday with

Martin Griffiths continued, “This is just a small way of saying thanks to some of our loyal passengers who have helped to grow over the last decade. We value their custom highly. I would also like to thank all of our employees and everyone who has helped us get to where we are over the past 10 years. We now look forward to what the next ten years will bring.” has won numerous awards over the years. Most recently the company won the Making Coaches a Better Choice Award at the 2013 UK Coach Awards and the Innovation Award at both the 2012 UK Bus Awards and the 2012 Route One Operator Excellence Awards.


**All and bookings are subject to a 50pence booking fee

*** For more information visit –

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