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Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by radamfi, 25 Mar 2013.
The current 757 I believe, is operated by Arriva in partnership with National Express, Easybus, Wizzair and Terravision or so the side of the bus says, that sounds like on the face of it a rather cosy arrangement, but it's quite high fares no doubt due to all of the revenue splitting going on and as the only bus service into London, you'd think there would have been competition concerns with such arrangement.
The funny thing is, on the last few Easyjet flight I was on, it was sold under the National Express or Green Line name and at least at one point there were separate sales desks for this service and even three different prices for what was the same service.
It seems that National Express have broke out of this partnership though so it remains to be seen what the reaction is of the other partners to this and if they once again all team up together with NX rather than Greenline being the dominant name.
I wonder if the easyBus service between Luton Airport and Earl's Court is affected?
I'd say not, since this is a seperate service using the mini buses is it not?
But what if National Express have secured exclusive rights to operate buses between central London and the airport?
Nat Exp are indeed taking over the 757. It will become service A1 and a new Owned Ops depot in Luton will appear. (Owned Ops driver!)
That could be challenged in court. Lothian Buses did challenge a similar ruling by Edinburgh Airport in 2011, and the court overturned the restriction which gave exclusive access rights to one firm.
Theere is also the issue of fair access to bus stations owned by operators, as identified by the Competition Commission report. Does this affect bus stations owned by Airports?
At the same time though, is it any worse than the current situation though?
Whilst Terravision, Easybus (excluding the Earls Court), Wizzair and National Express along with Arriva advertise services between Luton and London, the reality is it's only one service despite giving the impression they are separate operators.
From what I understand to be happening this will be a stand alone service, other operators will not be involved or sharing ticketing on the A1.
I've never heard of NX accepting anyone else's tickets so it would be unusual if the current arrangement would continue.
18 Levantes are ready for this apparently and NX are advertising for drivers and shunter/fuellers as a permanent position at Luton so if you fancy it go to the website and apply!
It's interesting that NX ops have only very recently shut Crawley depot sub contracting out a number of routes to third party operators, but are now opening a new base at Luton Airport & operating these routes in-house
NXG press release: http://www.nationalexpressgroup.com/media/allnews.aspx?newsyear=2013&newsitem=826
It sounds like they're aiming for a frequency of up to six coaches per hour (Green Line currently provide up to four per hour). Other than the Oxford Tube by Stagecoach, I'm not aware of any UK coach services with such a high frequency.
I think this will be bad news for passengers at Nat Ex fares to airport are usually a rip off, the exception being to Stansted where there is competition.
Trent Barton's Red Arrow coach service runs at a 10 minute frequency.
As stated, the current arrangement is bad so it can't be much worse. Hopefully with the revenue being split less ways it'll bring the price down, but then again they will have a monopoly so perhaps not.
I wonder if this may spell the nearing of the end for the Green Line brand?
All that's left after the 757 has gone apart from any remnants of that and the 755 is:
701/2 Half-hourly Bracknell - Slough - London
724 Hourly Harlow - Heathrow
every 60-120 minutes with lots of peak extras Hemel Hempsted - London
797 Hourly Stevenage - London
Citylink's Edinburgh to Glasgow service runs every 10 minutes at peaks.
Easybus do sell some cheap seats on the 757, although you have to book in advance to get the low fares. Hopefully the Earl's Court service will continue to provide competition.
The latest Routeone confirms that 18 new Levante have been sourced to be supplemented by a further 4 Levante less than 18 months old
Does anyone know the address / postcode of the new depot?
I presume there would have been an agreement with Luton airport as to how much the tickets would cost.
I believe the Green Line 757 will continue, but as a pure London to Luton commuter service