Stagecoach launches European budget coach network and investigates cross-Channel sleepercoach service
Posted: 16 April 2012 | Stagecoach | No comments yet
Pledge to shake up “over-priced” European coach travel market…
Transport group Stagecoach today launched a new network of low-cost coach services from the UK to Continental Europe – and revealed it was already investigating the potential for a cross-Channel sleepercoach.
The Group’s budget coach operator megabus.com today started running daytime and overnight coach services between its main hub in London and destinations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Passengers can travel to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Boulogne on a new £2.5m fleet of state-of-the-art coaches equipped with free wi-fi and toilets. There is also a dedicated Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam service. An interchange at London Victoria Coach Station also offers through services to and from locations in Scotland, England and Wales.
And Stagecoach pledged to shake up the European coach market with a combination of high quality travel and low-cost prices, with seats from just £1 or €11. Passengers travelling on the cheapest tickets pay just 0.5p per mile (0.3c per km) to go from London to Paris, 0.7p per mile (0.4c per km) from London to Brussels and 0.5p per mile (0.3c per km) from London to Amsterdam2.
Sir Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: “We launched megabus.com in Scotland nine years ago and it has already transformed inter-city travel in the UK and North America. With the rising cost of living, rocketing fuel prices and running a car becoming more and more expensive, everyone is looking to make their money go further.
“For too long, people in many parts of Europe have been paying too much for their coach travel. Our new network offers families, students and tourists great value fares and high-quality coaches. These services will deliver a long-overdue shake-up to the over-priced European coach travel market.”
Bookings for the new services can be made through www.megabus.com and already many trips are sold out. French and Dutch language websites trading in Euros will be launched soon.
In the meantime, customers in France, Belgium and the Netherlands can book through a network of approved travel agents. Full details are available online at: http://uk.megabus.com/megabuscom.aspx. See below for details of European services and pick-up/departure points.
megabus.com, the award-winning budget travel operator, already covers around 60 locations in the UK and more than 70 major cities in the United States and Canada.
The low fares coach service runs in and out of the heart of major cities, avoiding extra transfers and waiting associated with air travel. Clear low-cost pricing, with no extra fees for luggage or airport taxes, contrasts with budget airlines criticised for pricey add-ons to basic fares.
Stagecoach also revealed today that it is investigating the potential for a sleeper coach service between the UK and Europe. The company is working in partnership with Belgium manufacturer Van Hool on a 15-metre concept vehicle, based on its Astromega double-decker coach.
Van Hool already manufactures double-decker coaches used on the Group’s megabus.com services in the UK and North America. Astromega double-decker coaches are also used on Stagecoach’s Oxford Tube, Europe’s most frequent express coach service running up to every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Current designs would see the sleepercoach fitted with 48-seats and tables for use during the daytime, which could be converted into 43 bunks on overnight services.
megabus.com already operates a sleepercoach service between Glasgow and London seven nights a week, using specially-refurbished single-deck articulated coaches.
Sir Brian added: “Our new routes to France, Belgium and the Netherlands have already been extremely popular. Based on our experience in the UK, we are also very excited about the potential for sleepercoach services across the Channel and look forward to continuing to develop our concept vehicle.”
megabus.com was launched in Scotland in 2003 and expanded to the United States in 2006. The popular service provides carries around 5 million passengers in the UK every year. More than 16 million customers have travelled with megabus.com in North America since the launch in April 2006 and the service has expanded rapidly over the past 12 months.
Visit www.megabus.com to book and find information about services, stops, schedules, arrival and departure times and fares.