Out of curiosity, I decided to explore the Megabus website for the U.K. and it surprised me to see how low some of their prices were. Apparently, there’s a seat sale on at the moment too so that may explain some of those less than £5. However, it’s easy to see the attraction of what aren’t so infrequent services from Manchester to places such as Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and London. With the recent increases in train fares, even a ticket costing less than £20 has to look tempting. Is that why the though of savouring their services to see what they’re like has entered my head?
While checking out express coach services, I also decided to take a look at what Greyhound offers to the U.K. traveller these days and it looks as if things have expanded beyond the London services to the south coast of England with which they started. For instance, regular services between Cardiff and Swansea are now on offer with the frequency making them look like the Welsh version of the Scottish Citylink service between Edinburgh and Glasgow or the National Express one between Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. It looks a good move forward and I hope that it’s attracting a good level custom. Also coming within the Greyhound fold is the overnight service between London and Scotland (Hamilton, Glasgow, Edinburgh) that First Glasgow took over from Silver Choice. All the while, it’s south of England tally of destinations increases with Winchester being a recent addition to those like Portsmouth, Poole, Southampton, Bournemouth, Fareham, Ringwood (for the New Forest) and the Isle of Wight. All in all, Greyhound is growing in Britain so there must be some success being had somewhere. Maybe the attractive prices might have something to do with it because I did glimpse a few going for £1 plus booking fee.
All in all, it looks as if express coach travel might be on the up and it would not be a bad thing if a decent network built up in England and Wales, even if it meant travelling with different operators on a single journey. The looming increases in train fares are presenting an opportunity and I wonder if anyone is out there waiting to take it. Now mightn’t be a bad time to spend a little longer travelling in order to save a little cash when it is a scarcer commodity than used to be case a few years ago.