Megabus (Europe)

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Megabus
MegabusLogo.svg
SP62 CGY at Dunfermline bus station, 05 April 2013.jpg
Plaxton Panther 2 bodied Volvo B13R
in Dunfermline, Scotland, in April 2013
Slogan Low cost inter city bus travel serving Europe
Parent Stagecoach
Founded August 2003
Headquarters Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom
Service area Europe
Service type Intercity coach services
Routes 19
Destinations 41 jurisdictions served
Hubs London (Victoria Coach Station)
Perth (Broxden Park & Ride)
Glasgow (Buchanan bus station)
Aberdeen (Union Square)
Website uk.megabus.com

Megabus is a long distance coach operator operated by the Stagecoach Group. It commenced operating in August 2003, initially in the United Kingdom, and now serves over 60 destinations there and in the Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and most recently Spain.[1] Some services link with Megatrain services, also operated by Stagecoach. Advertised fares start at £1/€1 with a 50p/50c booking fee, using a yield management model.

History[edit]

Megabus mascot Sid
Alexander RH bodied Leyland Olympian in Manchester in July 2008 after transfer to Stagecoach Manchester
Alexander RH bodied Volvo B10M in Perth in 2004

2003 to 2005[edit]

Services from London to Oxford commenced on 4 August 2003, and from Edinburgh to Glasgow and Perth and Glasgow to Dundee were added one month later. During November 2003 routes from Manchester to Liverpool and Leeds were added, but these ceased on 27 June 2004 and 3 October 2004 respectively.

On 1 March 2004 when a whole network of routes from London's Green Line Coach Station to Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Cardiff, Swansea and Birmingham were added.

On 28 June 2004 routes from London to Milton Keynes, Leicester, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow were added and within two months these were followed by the expansion of the Scottish routes to include Aberdeen and Inverness.

Stagecoach lost the contract to run the National Express route between London, Cheltenham and Gloucester, prompting it to introduce competing Megabus services from 5 September 2004.

On 6 September 2004 Stagecoach took over the Motorvator service between Edinburgh and Glasgow, selling a number of seats per journey through the Megabus site, the remainder being available without booking in advance, at regular fares. This enabled Stagecoach to cancel the dedicated Megabus service between the two cities.

On 10 October 2004 routes from London to Liverpool and Newcastle. On 15 November 2004, the London to Oxford service was replaced by seats on the Oxford Tube.

On 31 January 2005, Stagecoach bus route X5 between Oxford and Cambridge became part of the Megabus network, selling a number of seats per journey in the same way as the Oxford Tube and Motorvator. From 18 April 2005, Nottingham, Worthing and Winchester were added to the network by slight extensions/modifications to existing routes, but rationalisation of the rest of the network took place, with some early morning and late evening services were withdrawn.

On 13 June 2005 a new service was introduced between London and Coventry. However, the London to Swansea service was withdrawn between Cardiff and Swansea.

A joint venture between Scottish Citylink and Megabus led to co-ordination of services in Scotland. On 21 November 2005, the 900 Motorvator service was replaced by an enhanced Citylink service, with the facility to buy seats through the Megabus website was retained. The next week, most of the faster Citylink services between Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth and Glasgow, and Inverness, Perth and Edinburgh were replaced by a more frequent, combined Megabus/Citylink service. As a consequence, passengers who previously used parallel Citylink services from the bus station in Perth town centre were required to use Broxden Park and Ride on the outskirts of the town, with little to no onward connections to the town centre. Tickets for the combined Megabus/Citylink services are available through both companies' websites, though often at different prices. From 16 February 2006, the slower Citylink service between Dundee, Perth and Glasgow became available to book through the Megabus website, restoring Perth bus station to the Megabus network. The same day of the Citylink service modifications, the London to Manchester route was extended to Preston, with some journeys extended to Blackpool or Lancaster. This coincided with the loss of National Express work at Preston depot. The extensions to Blackpool and Lancaster were short lived, and were withdrawn in February 2006, citing low passenger numbers.

Again following the loss of National Express contracts (this time at Rugby depot), on 5 December 2005, the London to Birmingham service was increased in frequency to every two hours with an additional stop on the outskirts of Coventry, and the withdrawal of the direct once-a-day service to Coventry city centre. One journey a day in each direction was extended to Wolverhampton. The stops in the south of Birmingham were no longer served. Further changes on this day were the doubling of the London to Nottingham service to twice a day with one journey extended to Chesterfield (which regained the service lost in April 2005) and the introduction of a new once-daily service from London to Norwich.

2006 to 2009[edit]

A number of changes to routes were made on 27 March 2006. A direct service was introduced between Ferrytoll Park & Ride in Fife, Edinburgh and London via Newcastle and Sheffield. Together with changes to the Leeds to London services, this meant that changes at Tibshelf services were no longer needed. In addition, many routes had timetable changes. In particular, the London to Southampton and London to Portsmouth routes became feeders to the London to Bournemouth service, with passengers required to change at Winchester. Some London to Bristol journeys were extended to Cwmbran.

  • The London to Norwich and London to Wolverhampton and Chesterfield services were withdrawn on 14 May 2006
  • The London to Cheltenham service introduced an extra stop at Reading Coachway on 20 November 2006.
  • Early in February 2007, it was announced that the service between London, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Nottingham would be withdrawn on 11 March 2007. These services were restored Monday-Saturday following the acquisition of the East Midlands Trains franchise by Stagecoach, to and from London by Megatrain.
  • From 21 May 2007, services between London and Leeds were extended to Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle.

On 1 October 2007, the London hub moved from Bulleid Way to Victoria Coach Station.

From October 2009 [2] M35 Cardiff to Newcastle began.

2010 to present[edit]

Van Hool TDX27 Astromega at Union Square Aberdeen bus station

In May 2011 services were introduced between Norwich and London, between Edinburgh and Leeds and between London and Swansea and Pembroke Dock with through ferry fares to Rosslare in Ireland. Additional journeys were added to several existing routes.

From April 2012, Megabus began services linking the UK to continental Europe, from Birmingham and London to Paris and from Leicester and London to Brussels and Amsterdam. This was announced a month prior to the introduction of the services. A third route, entirely outside the UK, links Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.[3][4]

In 2013 Megabus started a route between Cologne, Brussels, Gent and London.

In 2014 Megabus launched a route between London, Paris, Toulouse and Barcelona.[5]

Other services[edit]

Megatrain[edit]

Main article: Megatrain

Megatrain offers low-cost intercity train travel on some East Midlands Trains and South West Trains routes, both operated by Stagecoach. Services are available Monday to Saturday only, with no service on Sundays or public holidays.

Megabusplus[edit]

MegaBusPlus.svg

Megabusplus services combine Megabus and Megatrain for through journeys.

North of England[edit]

Megabusplus services use Megabus from the following destinations to East Midlands Parkway, then Megatrain (East Midlands Trains) services to London St Pancras:

South West England[edit]

Megabusplus services also use coaches to Southampton Airport Parkway, then Megatrain (South West Trains) to Bournemouth.[6]

In 2014, further Megabusplus services were launched using South West Trains services between London Waterloo and Honiton, then the following four coach routes from Honiton:[7]

  • Honiton - Okehampton - Bude
  • Honiton - Collumpton - Tiverton - Barnstaple
  • Honiton - Exeter Airport - Newton Abbot - Torquay - Paignton - Totnes - Plymouth
  • Honiton - Launceston - Bodmin - St Austell - Truro - Penzance

Sleeper and Gold services[edit]

Jonckheere bodied Volvo sleeper coach at Buchanan bus station in February 2012

Overnight sleeper services were introduced on the London to Glasgow route in 2011[8] using Jonckheere Mistral articulated coaches with a flat bunk bed as well as a seat for each passenger.

Luxury Megabus Gold coaches were introduced from 8 July 2013 on selected sleeper services between London and Edinburgh/Aberdeen,[9] as well as some day services. This sub-brand is in line with the upmarket Stagecoach Gold and Citylink Gold brands already used by Stagecoach subsidiaries.

Tickets and fares[edit]

Advertised fares start at £1 with a 50p booking fee, using a yield management model with the lowest fares offered for booking early and on less popular journeys; typically, only the first six seats are sold at £1.[10] Services often use out-of-town coachway interchanges in order to reduce delays caused by calling at interchanges in urban centres. Megatrain also follows the yield management model.

Tickets must be bought in advance via the Megabus website or by telephone, when passengers are given a reservation number that they show the driver when they board. The only services on which tickets can be bought on the vehicle are a small number of Scottish services. Tickets can be paid for in pounds sterling or euro.

Stop locations[edit]

Megabus serves many towns and cities. For service efficiency it sometimes uses coachway interchanges rather than urban bus stations (e.g. Meadowhall Interchange rather than Sheffield Interchange).

Routes[edit]

Megabus routes[edit]

All services are operated by Megabus unless otherwise noted. Services for special events (such as the British Grand Prix) are not included. Some stops are bypassed at certain times of the day. For further information, see timetables.

Number Route Notes
M1 London – Coventry – Birmingham Airport – Birmingham - Manchester - Leeds
M6 London - U.W.E - Bristol - Exeter - Plymouth - Newquay - Redruth - Camborne - St Erth - Penzance
M7 London – Swindon – Newport – Cardiff – Swansea - Carmarthen - Aberystwyth Runs jointly with M10
M8 Glasgow - Stirling - Perth - Dundee Operated by Scottish Citylink and Megabus
M9 Glasgow - Perth - Dundee - Forfar - Aberdeen Operated by Scottish Citylink and Megabus
M10 London - U.W.E - Bristol - Newport - Cardiff - Swansea - Carmarthen - Pembroke Dock Runs jointly with M7
M11 London - Manchester or Birmingham - Preston - Lancaster - Carlisle - Glasgow - Stirling - Perth - Dundee - Aberdeen
M11A London - Manchester
M12 London - Milton Keynes - Rugby - Leicester - Loughborough - Sheffield - Leeds

London - Sheffield - Wakefield - Leeds - Middlesbrough - Sunderland - Newcastle
M14 London - Swindon - Gloucester - Cheltenham - Worcester
M15 London - Coventry - Birmingham - Manchester - Liverpool
M16 London - Norwich (UEA) - Norwich
M17 Manchester - Chester - Holyhead
M18 London - Swindon - Chippenham - Corsham - Bath - Wells - Glastonbury - Bridgwater - Taunton - Exeter
M19 Leeds - Manchester - Horwich - Preston - Lancaster - Glasgow
M20 London - Sheffield - Wakefield - Leeds - Scotch Corner - Newcastle - Edinburgh - Glasgow
M34 Poole - Bournemouth - Portsmouth – Southampton – Southampton Airport – Oxford – Coventry – Birmingham Airport - Birmingham – Manchester or Sheffield - Leeds – Middlesbrough – Sunderland – Newcastle
M35 Cwmbran - Cardiff – Bristol - U.W.E – Birmingham - Manchester – Leeds – Middlesbrough – Sunderland – Newcastle

Rugby – Coventry – Birmingham Airport – Birmingham – Manchester – Leeds – Middlesbrough – Sunderland – Newcastle

Swansea - Cardiff - Bristol - U.W.E - Birmingham - Birmingham Airport - Coventry - Rugby
M36 Plymouth – Exeter – Bristol – U.W.E – Birmingham Airport - Birmingham – Manchester – Leeds – Middlesbrough – Sunderland – Newcastle
M37 Norwich - Norwich (UEA) - Cambridge - Birmingham Airport - Birmingham - Bristol - U.W.E - Cardiff
M90 Edinburgh - Perth - Inverness Operated by Scottish Citylink and Megabus
M91 Operated by Scottish Citylink and Megabus
M92 Edinburgh - Dunfermline - Kinross - Perth - Dundee - Aberdeen Operated by Scottish Citylink and Megabus
M93 Edinburgh – Kinross – Perth Operated by Scottish Citylink and Megabus
ME1 London - Coventry - Birmingham Airport - Birminghamx
ME12 London - Fosse Park - Nottingham
ME14 London - Swindon - Gloucester - Cheltenham - Worcester
900 EdinburghGlasgow Operated by Scottish Citylink and Megabus
Oxford Tube OxfordLondon Operated by Stagecoach Oxford
G6 London - Plymouth Megabus Gold
G7 London - Bristol - Cardiff - Cwmbran Megabus Gold

Megabusplus Routes[edit]

MP1 Hull-London http://www.traveline-northwest.co.uk/timetableplanner/displayTimetableDetails.do?rid=1405897293583&hss=YHBwZ284328366

MP2X Hull Interchange - St Pancras http://planner.traveline-cymru.info/timetableplanner/displayTimetableDetails.do?rid=1405897487470&hss=BwpBM93571213

MP3 Hull–London

This is a Megabusplus coach and train route from the Hull Interchange, calling at the University of York, then calling at York Leeman Road, Doncaster Interchange, Huddersfield Bus Station and to East Midlands Parkway where passengers change for the train to London. Timetable at http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/estates/transport/public_transport/bus/megabus%20York%20Uni%20tt.pdf

Fleet[edit]

The Megabus fleet is normally easily identifiable, with the megabus.com name on the front and sides in yellow on a blue base and the Megabus logo on the left side of the coach (facing forward) and rear of the bus.

Accessible coaches are operated on routes between England and Wales, the M9 and M90 in Scotland, and the M20.[citation needed]

Vehicles are owned and maintained by various Stagecoach subsidiaries. When branded vehicles are unavailable other Stagecoach vehicles can be used or coaches hired in. Substitute vehicles used have been Dennis Trident 2 and Volvo Olympian double deckers,and Dennis Dart and Volvo B10M single deckers. Stagecoach London double deckers from Leyton garage were often seconded to Megabus until the sale of that company to Macquarie Bank. When using substitute vehicles, there may not always be an on board toilet, and in such cases rest stops are made.

Some journeys are contracted to other operators using non-Megabus liveried vehicles, including Turners Coachways of Bristol, Tetleys of Leeds, Hamiltons of Uxbridge and Compass of Royston.

Fleet history[edit]

Jonckheere bodied Volvo B10M articulated coach in Manchester en route from London to Glasgow
Neoplan Skyliner in Manchester

Initially, most routes used buses designed for short journeys that had neither toilet facilities nor luggage space, and each passenger was allowed only one bag.

To commence operations, 1990/91 built 3-axle 94 seat Alexander RH bodied Leyland Olympians were purchased from Hong Kong Citybus. Stagecoach had previously owned these buses when it owned Citybus from March 1999 until June 2003.[11][12]

A number of mid-life Volvo B10M coaches temporarily operated various routes, mainly in the South of England, until sufficient Olympians had been prepared for service. Gradually, most of these coaches were taken off Megabus work and used by Stagecoach elsewhere. However, the type made a reappearance at the end of 2005, when they became the mainstays on the services from London to Birmingham and London to Nottingham/Chesterfield.[citation needed]

Newer 'high-frills' articulated coaches, with both toilets and reclining seats, were used for the longer journeys between London and Scotland, but these were replaced early in 2005.[citation needed] These coaches have since been refurbished and modified to include beds for an Overnight 'Sleeper' service between London and Glasgow started in late 2011, competing with the Caledonian Sleeper train.

In summer 2004, Stagecoach received a batch of Neoplan Skyliners for the Oxford Tube. This displaced 68-seat five-year old double deck Jonckheere bodied MAN 24.350 coaches, some of which were transferred to Megabus on cross-border services and on services within Scotland.

Stagecoach ordered another batch of Neoplan Skyliners, which entered service with Megabus in early 2005. These replaced the articulated coaches used between London and Scotland, and also Leyland Olympians on some other longer distance services.

In October 2006, Stagecoach announced an order for 45 Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12BT 15-metre 63 seat coaches for Megabus. The 3-axle coaches were the longest rigid vehicles in the UK on their introduction to service in February 2007, and the first of their kind to be built in Britain.

In September 2009, Megabus took delivery of four new Van Hool Astromega double-deck coaches, currently used between London and Scotland via Manchester [13]

In October 2011, Megabus started an overnight sleeper service with 24 seats and bunks, between London and Glasgow. In November 2011 it started running daily and has proved to be very popular. The coaches used are modified Volvo B10M articulated coaches with Jonckheere bodywork.

In early 2013, Megabus introduced new Plaxton Elite i coaches, built upon the Volvo B11RT chassis, into the fleet, running mainly on routes M9, M20 and the 900 (on behalf of Scottish Citylink).

Incidents[edit]

  • In March 2010, a Megabus vehicle on an overnight service hit the body of a woman who had jumped from a bridge onto the M74 motorway. The driver failed to stop at the scene and was later suspended.[14]
  • In July 2012, a suspected terrorist was thought to be on board a Megabus service which was stopped by armed police on the M6 Toll motorway near Weeford, but it turned out to be a false alarm caused by smoke from an e-cigarette.[15]
  • In June 2013, a Megabus vehicle caught fire on the M62 motorway near Rastrick. All passengers and the driver escaped without injury.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]