Greyhound UK

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Greyhound UK
Greyhound UK logo.png
Greyhound UK 23315 YN55 PXF.JPG
Greyhound Scania K114EB 23315 Sweet Caroline at the Bustival event on the Isle of Wight in April 2010
Parent FirstGroup
Founded 14 September 2009
Headquarters Swansea
Service area South Wales, Bristol
Service type Intercity coach service
Routes 1
Operator First Cymru
Website www.greyhounduk.com

Greyhound UK[1] is a low-cost intercity scheduled coach service in the United Kingdom owned by FirstGroup and based on the long-established Greyhound service in the United States.

It began operations in September 2009 as an hourly service between London and Portsmouth or Southampton.[2] In 2010 services were introduced from London to Bournemouth[3] and Poole.[4] These services ceased in November 2012.[5][6][7]

In 2010 the Shuttle 100 service between Cardiff and Swansea was transferred from First Cymru.[8][9] In January 2011 Greyhound UK took over operation of overnight coach services between London and Glasgow that had previously been operated by First Glasgow. This service ceased in September 2012.[5]

Service[edit]

Greyhound UK's service is being presented as upmarket, with free wireless internet, extra legroom and reclining seats, using refurbished coaches painted in the same livery as recently introduced by Greyhound in the United States.[10][11] Greyhound offers cheaper tickets when booked in advance via their website, similar to Funfares on National Express, and Megabus.

Route and destinations[edit]

Irizar PB bodied Scania K114EB 23325 Peggy Sue in Southampton in December 2009
The rear of Scania K114EB coach 23320 Billie Jean, pictured ready to load at Portsmouth February 2010
Interior of coach 23316 Mrs Robinson

Greyhound UK operates a service between Swansea and Cardiff, with a number of services continuing on to Bristol Airport, calling at Newport, Portway and Ashton Gate en route.

The extended route to Bristol Airport began in March 2013, previous to this, operating only between Swansea and Cardiff. In May 2014 the service was amended and the previous stops at University of the West England and Bristol Bus Station stops were omitted, reducing the journey time from South Wales to Bristol Airport.[12]

History of name[edit]

The earliest use of the Greyhound name and logo for coach services in England was by Greyhound Motors in 1921. The name and logo continued to be used by Bristol Omnibus Company (which bought Greyhound in 1936) until 1972 when their coach services were re-branded as National Express.[13] FirstGroup now owns the former Bristol Omnibus Company, but their revival of the name is not connected to the former use of the name by their subsidiary; instead, it follows FirstGroup's acquisition of the owner of the American Greyhound Lines operation in February 2007, with the logo and livery adopted for the United Kingdom.[14] It is also not associated with Western Greyhound in Cornwall.

Fleet[edit]

The Greyhound fleet consisted of 11 Irizar PB bodied Scania K114EB coaches. They are numbered in the same fleet numbering system as other FirstGroup vehicles, and also carry women’s names from popular American songs:

23315 - Sweet Caroline
23316 - Mrs Robinson
23317 - Good Golly Miss Molly
23318 - Mandy
23319 - Sherry
23320 - Billie Jean
23321 - Proud Mary
23322 - Barbara Anne
23323 - Sharona
23324 - Joelene
23325 - Peggy Sue

The coaches originally had 49 seats, and were purchased in 2005/06 for use on FirstGroup's National Express contracted work. They were based at First's depots at Bristol, Cheltenham and Northampton and used on National Express routes 040 Bristol to London Victoria, 200 Bristol to Gatwick Airport, 412 Gloucester to London Victoria, 222 Hereford to Gatwick Airport and 707 Northampton to Gatwick Airport. After refurbishment they had only 41 seats providing extra legroom and a 41" seat pitch, free wireless internet and at-seat power sockets.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 6983718 Greyhound UK Limited
  2. ^ The Greyhound has landed FirstGroup 19 August 2009
  3. ^ Extra Greyhound services for Bournemouth FirstGroup 1 June 2010
  4. ^ Greyhound under starter's order in Poole FirstGroup 13 August 2010
  5. ^ a b Greyhond retrenches with major cuts busandcoach.com 18 October 2012
  6. ^ Firm axes coach service from Southampton to London Southern Daily Echo 18 October 2012
  7. ^ Greyhound Solent Closure Greyhound UK news 18 November 2012
  8. ^ Greyhound under stater's orders in Wales FirstGroup 9 September 2010
  9. ^ Iconic Greyhound bus sets up Welsh service South Wales Echo 8 September 2010
  10. ^ Greyhound bus to launch in London with £1 fares to coast Evening Standard 19 August 2009
  11. ^ FirstGroup to launch Greyhound bus service The Guardian 19 August 2009
  12. ^ Greyhound sppeds airport link to Bristol Bus & Coach 6 May 2014
  13. ^ National Express Group plc and Saltire Holdings Ltd Monopolies and Mergers Commission February 1994 page 3
  14. ^ FirstGroup buys Greyhound buses BBC News 9 February 2007
  15. ^ Greyhound UK Specifications FirstGroup

External links[edit]

Media related to Greyhound UK at Wikimedia Commons