Budget coach company Megabus is preparing to launch the UK’s first overnight sleeper coach service this September.
The London to Glasgow route will initially operate as a once-nightly service running seven days a week. Coaches will depart Glasgow at 2315 to arrive at London Victoria bus station for 0720, or leave London at 2359 to arrive in Glasgow at 0805. Bookings for the sleeper service can be made from September 5 by visiting megabus.com.
Fares for a sleeper berth will range from £1 to £40 (all reservations are subject to a 50p booking fee) and passengers will have access to a toilet, free wifi, on-board refreshments and a complimentary overnight pack containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bottle of water, an eye mask and a luggage label.
This can be compared to ScotRail’s train sleeper service which runs at 2350 from London Euston to central Glasgow and takes 7hr 30 minutes. Fares for the rail sleeper service start from £19 one way – when Business Traveller checked today a midweek journey in August started from £55.50, when booked through the ScotRail website.
The new service is to initially be operated by three specially refurbished coaches fitted with 24 sleeping berths and seats. Each berth has a reading light and curtain for extra privacy, as well as a duvet, pillow and blanket.
Megabus will be trialling the new service throughout August in preparation for the first official service on September 5. Starting next month customers purchasing tickets online for the existing overnight Megabus service between Glasgow and London will be given the opportunity to upgrade to the new sleeper service.
Chief Executive of Megabus’s parent company Stagecoach Group, Sir Brian Souter, believes that the new sleeper service will offer an alternative option for the growing number of customers wanting to travel overnight, while also providing “extra comfort and facilities, but still at excellent value for money prices.”
“We believe the best way to find out if it’s a service our customers want is by offering them the chance to try it out for real. Travelling direct from city centre to city centre beats the hassle of a red-eye flight from an airport and is a greener, smarter way to travel” says Souter.
Corporate Communications Manager Lindsay Reid added, “This is a pilot - we are keen to see if this is the kind of service passengers want, and will use. If it proves successful we would definitely consider expanding the service at some point in the future.”
Report by Scott Carey