An Optare Soroco EasyBus vehicle in Buckingham Palace Road
EasyBus (styled as easyBus) provides UK express coach services to and from London and its main airports. It was founded by entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 2003, and is part of the EasyGroup. It initially offered intercity services in addition to airport services.
EasyGroup first announced its intention to operate no frills express services in 2003, initially in competition with National Express along the London - Birmingham corridor. Operations began in August 2004, with a service between London and Milton Keynes introduced. To keep costs down EasyBus originally used Hendon Central station in north London as its terminal point, with a journey time of 65 minutes and a single fare of £5. The threat of competition forced National Express to offer its own discounted fares to and from London, culminating in the introduction of a £1 single fare between Milton Keynes and London which Stelios claimed was intended to make his service non-profitable and force its withdrawal.
Shortly after this EasyBus launched a second route to Luton Airport in competition with National Express' Jetlink subsidiary. In Spring 2005 EasyBus changed its London terminus from Hendon to a more central location in Baker Street. The Milton Keynes service was withdrawn in February 2006, with services to Luton increased in frequency and the operational contract transferred to Arriva Shires & Essex.
The dedicated service to Luton was withdrawn in May 2007, with services combined with the existing Green Line service 757. A new service to Stansted Airport began operation at the same time. In July 2008 further expansion was announced with the launch of a half-hourly service between Gatwick Airport and Fulham Broadway station.
The service has had a huge amount of complaints generated due to the low standard of service. Late buses, last minute cancellations and alleged extortion from bus drivers have led to many missing flights.
EasyBus is a no frills airport express minibus operator, using 19-seat Mercedes or Optare air-conditioned luxury mini-coaches on services from central London to various airports, including Gatwick and Stansted. Tickets are predominantly sold over the internet, although EasyBus has sales desks in all its airports, though ticket prices are usually higher if booked on the day of travel. Passengers joining in London can purchase tickets direct from the driver. EasyBus baggage policy allows for one medium sized bag, plus 'hand-baggage', though an extra seat has to be purchased for larger items.
EasyBus operate a number of services.
|Route number||From||To||Operator||Other notes|
|EB2||Stansted Airport||London Victoria||Excel Coaches||Operated using EasyBus minibuses.|
|EB4||Gatwick Airport||Earl's Court/West Brompton||New Enterprise Coaches||Operated using EasyBus minibuses.|
|757||Luton Airport||London Victoria||Arriva Shires & Essex||Jointly operated with the Green Line 757 service. Some coaches are painted in EasyBus orange; most remain in Green Line livery.|
July 2010 accident
On 28 July 2010 an EasyBus Optare Soroco minibus overturned on the M25 motorway near the junction with the M23 in Surrey. A black car had lost control and had collided with the mininbus, while it was carrying four passengers on a service from Gatwick Airport to London. One person became trapped in the vehicle and was cut free by fire crews.
Four people were injured in the accident, including three passengers and the driver of the car. One woman was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting with serious leg injuries. The other three were treated for less severe injuries at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill. The clockwise carriageway of the road between junctions 6 and 8 was closed for six hours following the crash, as was the slip road to the M23.
- "Still no date for first EasyBus service". Bus & Coach Magazine.
- "EasyBus confirm Milton Keynes start date". Bus & Coach Magazine.
- Reece, Damian (19 August 2004). "Stelios and National Express clash over EasyBus". The Independent (London).
- "Arriva to operate Stelios' EasyBus links". Bus & Coach Magazine.
- "EasyBus out of Luton, in to Stansted". Bus & Coach Magazine.
- "Fulham expansion for EasyBus". Bus & Coach Magazine.
- "Two freed from EasyBus following M25 crash". getsurrey.
- "Overturned minibus shuts M25 and leaves thousands stuck in their cars". Daily Mail (London). 29 July 2010.
- "Major delays as M25 is closed for hours". Metro Radio.
- "Four injured as minibus overturns on M25 in Surrey". BBC News. 28 July 2010.
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