Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, has today announced that 5,600 extra socially-distanced seats are being made available on its megabus coaches over the Christmas period, and urges families and friends planning to be reunited to book ahead.
With support from the Department for Transport, Stagecoach can offer extra megabus seats from all the major cities and many regions across the country including the North East, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Cardiff and London. Additional seats will also be offered on services to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The agreement with government will also allow megabus to provide services from additional places across the South West including Falmouth, Plymouth, Exeter, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon. There will now also be services running to and from the north including Doncaster, Bradford and Scunthorpe with extra stops at Cambridge and new services to Great Yarmouth.
Around 50% of the previously available seats throughout December have now sold out, with cities such as Sheffield, Newcastle and Leeds showing big spikes in demand. Wednesday 23 and Sunday 27 December are the most popular days for travel and now thousands of extra seats are on sale, megabus is urging people to book ahead, especially as rail services are expected to be busy.
Students have also been successfully using megabus coaches to get home for Christmas, with figures showing a 90% increase during the student travel week, compared with the previous week. Extra coaches were provided on many routes.
Mark Venables, Managing Director for megabus, said: “Direct and high frequency intercity coaches are an increasingly popular travel choice and this year in particular, they will play a vital role in helping families and friends to be reunited for Christmas.
“On the busiest days in December, we have already sold around 50% of the capacity we had available, so it’s great news that we’re working with the UK Department for Transport to increase the number of seats on our services in the run up to the festive break. This agreement also means we’re able to add many more towns and cities across the South West and Northern England onto our network.
“We know that coach and train seats are booking up quickly, and with the increase in advance ticket sales that we have seen, we're urging people to plan ahead and book travel as soon as possible.
“Our megabus services offer safe, easy and hassle-free travel and provide a great alternative to cars and train travel, which are typically a much more expensive way to travel. All of our tickets offer free amendments up to 24 hours in advance, so we're offering flexibility this year, as well as great value travel.”
Extensive additional safety measures have been introduced across all services to ensure that people can travel with confidence. This includes regular touch-point cleaning, social distancing and anti-bac stations on board all coaches. All customers travelling are asked to wear face coverings in line with the government’s rules.
Customers travelling in the run up to Christmas are advised to:
- Plan and book ahead to try and avoid busy times and routes
- Reserve a seat in advance
- Try to avoid making unnecessary stops during your journey
- Come with a face covering to wear throughout your journey
- If you feel unwell or have any Coronavirus symptoms, please do not use public transport
megabus will be operating throughout the festive period including on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, providing a safe and convenient way for people to get together with family and loved ones in line with the government’s Christmas rules.
All megabus tickets can be altered up to 24 hours in advance free of charge. Those wishing to reserve a seat benefit from double the usual luggage allowance, and the coaches can be tracked while they're on the road at https://coachtracker.uk.megabus.com/.
All tickets can be booked at megabus.com.