Bus and Coach Travel

information on UK buses and coaches -routes, bookings and general information.
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National Express

Bus and Coach Travel

Long distance bus and coach travel is a far cry from the cramped buses of old with new luxury serviced buses available now on most long distance routes. It is still one of the cheapest means of transport, as well as being environmentally efficient with figures quoted as low as 20g of CO2 per passenger kilometre. However the UK still suffers from a lack of a strong integrated transport policy and the problem for coaches is dealing with arrival in major conurbations.

We applaud the proposals by George Monbiot that intercity coach stations be relocated to motorway hubs served by high speed luxury coaches in dedicated lanes that ply the motorways, with local shuttle services into the urban centres.

Many bus companies are now working towards low carbon fleets. Leading the way is Transport for London, who have aims for every one of Londons 8000 buses to be hybrid powered by 2012 in order to cut emissions by 30-40%. Elsewhere The Hydrogen Bus Alliance has been looking at the possibilities of hydrogen power. Some cities have managed to put put back in place Tram or Light Rail systems, but a lot more are yet to be realised -strange that Britain lost all its trams when much of Europe still has working systems in inner cities.

Have a look at the National Express website for UK bookings. Options in Europe are greater -you might refer to Busabout or Eurolines for European coach travel. To find out about buses in the big cities, your might check on the websites of local metro and rail companies, as they are often integrated.

Further afield, bus travel can be a great way to get to know the local people, although not always comfortable and you do need to keep an eye on your possessions.

Eurolines -European Express Coach Network.

Useful sources:

  • British Trams Online -information about trams and light rail in the UK.
  • Hydrogen Bus Alliance -formed by bus companies from a number of major cities, including London, the Alliance is investigating clean, hydrogen powered buses.
  • Hyfleet -European research project trialling hydrogen powered buses in 10 cities, including London.
  • National Federation of Bus Users -an independent group which was formed to give bus passengers a voice.
  • Traveline -public transport information.

National bus & coach companies

  • Arriva -major bus and train operator.
  • First Group -buses and trains throughout the UK.
  • Megabus -the colourful bus company offering budget prices on long distance routes.
  • Metrobus -operates in Greater London, Surrey, Kent, East and West Sussex.
  • National Express -the national coach and bus operator.
  • Euro Bus Express -extremely cheap coach travel to Europe.
  • Scottish City Link -express coach services in the highlands.
  • StageCoach -national operator with a fleet of more than 7,000 buses and coaches connecting 100 towns and cities.

Local bus companies

Tram companies

  • Nottingham Tram Nottingham's express transit system.
  • Supertram -system operated in South Yorkshire by Stagecoach.
  • Tramtime -network in Edinburgh planned to be in operation by 2011.

International bus companies

  • Busabout -flexible European bus travel designed for backpackers -network stretches from Spain to Germany..
  • Bus Eireann -Ireland's national public bus company.
  • Dublin Bus -bus services throughout the city and county of Dublin.
  • Eurolines -a network of more than 30 European bus and coach companies stretching from Casablanca to Moscow.
  • Greyhound -America famous long distance bus company covers routes across the states.
  • Coach USA -scheduled bus routes across the States.
  • Big Bus Company -sightseeing tours of London in a double decker bus. Now do tours in Dubai and Philadelphia too.
  • Stagecoach New Zealand -coach services from Auckland and Wellington.

Bus and Metro Companies: European Cities

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Featured books:
Great British Bus Journeys: Travels Through Unfamous Places
David McKie
8 Mar 2007
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The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey
Douglas Brinkley
Paperback - 544 pages
May, 2003
Thunder's Mouth Press
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