A new coach service offering fares from €1 is set to transform European travel options and boost tourism in the south-west of France.
megabus.com is introducing a new low-cost coach
link to and from Toulouse, which will allow people to travel to key
destinations across Europe with prices starting at less than the price
of a cup of coffee.
megabus.com, which already carries more than 15 million passengers a
year in other parts of Europe
Services have proved very popular with families, students and
tourists looking to save money on their travel and spend extra on
entertainment when they arrive at their destination. Passengers travel
on state-of-the-art coaches featuring free wi-fi so they can stay
connected on the move. The coaches, which have some of the greenest
engines in Europe, are also equipped with air conditioning and a toilet.
The megabus.com network already includes more than 100 destinations
in the UK and mainland Europe, including major cities such as Paris,
London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Brussels and Cologne.
A new route is being launched between London, Paris, Toulouse and
Barcelona. Passengers in Toulouse can access European destinations in
the north via an interchange in Paris.
There will initially be one service a day in each direction on the
new route. Journey times between Toulouse and London will be from 19
hours, including a break in Paris and a ferry crossing. Travel from
Toulouse to Barcelona will take five hours 30 mins.
megabus.com’s low fares will bring a major improvement in affordable
transport options for people in Toulouse, the fourth largest
metropolitan area in France and an area with the third-largest
university campus in the country.
However, megabus.com today called for a change to current cabotage**
regulations which restrict people using its low-cost coach services for
point to point trips solely within France.
Earlier this year, the French competition authority, the Autorité de
la concurrence, made a number of recommendations to modernise the rules
and to open up the coach market to allow more choice and better value
travel for people in France.
The report issued by the authority in February said: “Coach travel
can be developed to the benefit of consumers and contribute to driving
up overall transport demand in France. The Autorité de la concurrence
recommends implementing a regulatory framework which is more open,
transparent and simple.”*
megabus.com’s Elizabeth Esnouf said: “Toulouse has a reputation for
innovation. It is home to the European aerospace industry, it is
spearheading medical research and the city has Europe’s largest space
“Our innovative coach service has transformed travel in other parts
of Europe and North America, providing new and affordable travel options
as well as creating new jobs. We are delighted to bring our
well-recognised brand of high quality travel to Toulouse and look
forward to welcoming local people on board.”
Ms Esnouf added: “We could do so much more to improve travel in the
south-west of France and other parts of the country if we were not
blocked by outdated rules. At present, we can take people from Toulouse
to other European countries such as the UK, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands
and Germany. But we are restricted in taking passengers from the south
to the north of France.
“This seems a crazy situation and we support moves by the French
competition authorities to bring coach travel in France into the 21st
century. It would bring more tourists to Toulouse, boost the economy and
transport, and help us create jobs in Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées and
other regions of France.”
megabus.com - part of international transport company Stagecoach
Group - was launched in the UK in 2003 and expanded its services to
North America in 2006. In 2012, the company started running services
between the UK and a number of destinations in mainland Europe. The
network already includes Paris, Lille, Boulogne Amsterdam, Brussels,
Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Cologne.
Last year, megabus.com introduced a fleet of 10 new 72-seat coaches
to operate on its network in Europe. A further six new coaches are set
to be introduced on the European network.
All European locations are served daily, with routes to and from the
UK operating during the day and overnight. An interchange at London
Victoria Coach Station offers links to and from locations in Scotland,
England and Wales.
megabus.com offers French, Dutch and German language websites, which
allow customers to book and pay in Euros. The company is also due to
launch a Spanish language website at the end of June.
The success of megabus.com’s services has seen it create more than
400 jobs over the past decade in the UK and Europe and a further 1,000
jobs in North America.