MML Franchise impact on Megabus

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Lewis lamb62), 11 Apr 2019.

  1. Lewis lamb62)

    Lewis lamb62) Member

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    So I’ve just realised that Megabus heavily relies on Stagecoach running the MML for their routes into London

    (they take people to the nearest MML station and then put them on a EMT train to St Pancras)

    When Stagecoach stop running the MML what will happen to the Megabus service?
     
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  3. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    No doubt they'll get withdrawn.
     
  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Will become the normal coach only. Just like when SWT ended.
     
  5. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    It's possible Stagecoach and Abellio could come to some sort of agreement, if they both decide it's in their commercial interests.
     
  6. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    They will most likely be withdrawn or made to be bus-only, or if they do come to an agreement to continue the services in their current form, there will be a noticeable price increase.
     
  7. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    The operation from East Midlands Parkway had been scaled back considerably over the years anyway only now serving Huddersfield, Bradford, Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Hull a few times a day and the small fleet of coaches in the KX58NBx registration range (new to the Oxford-Cambridge X5 service) are not in great shape.
     
  8. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    As said above they don’t ‘rely heavilly’. The ‘megabus plus’ is quite a small part of the operation.

    They’ll either continue it or run it as a coach all the way to London. And then if the latter continues to be profitable they’ll keep it, and if it doesn’t, they’ll axe it.
     
  9. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    When the offering at Virgin Trains and then at South West Trains was withdrawn, did this have any material impact? It's quite clever to offer through coach and rail bookings, and I would have liked to see the idea expanded, but I doubt it given the way it has been restricted in recent years. It also allowed some semblance of genuine budget rail operation to be tested in the UK. The only other things which we have that could genuinely be described as 'low cost' are West Midlands Trains' intercity routes, and the forthcoming First East Coast.
     
  10. 700007

    700007 Established Member

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    I am disappointed to see the end of Megatrain, a brilliant initiative to get people on the train for heavily reduced fares (tickets that otherwise would cost £50 for example I can find for £11). For those that new about it, it was a saving grace but also encouraged Rail travel.

    Megabus+ was also a brilliant scheme that made use of the white elephant that was East Midlands Parkway Station. It also gave healthy competition to other local franchises but once again got people onto public transport. The thought of perhaps doing a coach journey from London to Huddersfield can be incredibly daunting, so to do it only for a significantly smaller part of the journey at a good price and still take the train made a lot of people prefer doing this than taking the car.

    Other companies, not just Stagecoach, should be incentivised to do this - would be a brilliant market for National Express to break into had they still been in trains - or use synergy to work with competitors to offer this to consumers. I know Metroline who is a passport holder has a coach business however it seems they're not interested in rail bidding unless most likely it is for a TfL concession.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    What, to have train fares not bookable by the normal channels but instead a website that people may not know about?

    No, they definitely shouldn't. All train fares should be available through all sales channels. Let's not abandon a highly valuable concept that has been fought hard for throughout the privatisation process - if anything it needs strengthening to ban "special offer" fares from being offered only via selected sales channels.

    "Low cost" train fares should be offered either as Advances or on slower services like WMT. We do not want the likes of Ouigo over here. It's just divisive and damages the network benefits the railway offers, and ignores the huge market out there driving up and down the M1 in favour of bus-war-style petty spats over customers that are already using rail.
     
  12. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Megabus+ might well have been a great scheme but the fact is that the number of services now is pitiful.

    A far cry from when I think it went to Burnley / Harrogate / Sunderland as well as West Yorkshire and Hull.

    The remaining services seem to be:

    Northbound
    Monday to Thursday
    1034 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1315 / Scunthorpe 1345 / Hull 1445
    1134 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1450 / Bradford 1530
    1434 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1755 / Bradford 1840
    1434 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1715 / Scunthorpe 1750 / Hull 1850
    2034 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 2335 / Bradford 0005 / Hull 0135

    Friday
    0834 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Scunthorpe 1140 / Hull 1240
    0934 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1310
    1134 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1415 / Scunthorpe 1445 / Hull 1545
    1234 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1550 / Bradford 1630
    1434 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1755 / Bradford 1840
    1434 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1715 / Scunthorpe 1750 / Hull 1850
    2034 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 2335 / Bradford 0005 / Hull 0135

    Saturday
    0934 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Scunthorpe 1240 / Hull 1340
    1034 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1410
    1234 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1515 / Scunthorpe 1545 / Hull 1645
    1334 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1650 / Bradford 1730
    1534 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1855 / Bradford 1940
    1534 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1815 / Scunthorpe 1850 / Hull 1950
    1934 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 2210 / Scunthorpe 2240 / Hull 2330

    Sunday
    0930 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1240 / Scunthorpe 1315 / Hull 1415
    1000 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1410 / Bradford 1440
    1510 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Doncaster 1820 / Scunthorpe 1855 / Hull 1955
    1555 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 1920 / Bradford 2000
    2035 St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway for Huddersfield 2335 / Bradford 0005 / Hull 0135

    Southbound
    Monday to Thursday
    0650 Hull / 0735 Scunthorpe / 0815 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1124
    0745 Bradford / 0830 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1224
    1100 Hull / 1145 Scunthorpe / 1225 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1425
    1200 Bradford / 1240 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1625
    1715 Hull / 1915 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 2306

    Friday
    0640 Hull / 0725 Scunthorpe / 0805 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1124
    0735 Bradford / 0820 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1224
    0950 Hull / 1035 Scunthorpe / 1115 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1425
    1050 Bradford / 1130 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1525
    1225 Hull / 1340 Scunthorpe to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1724
    1330 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1724
    1715 Hull / 1915 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 2306

    Saturday
    0740 Hull / 0825 Scunthorpe / 0905 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1224
    0835 Bradford / 0920 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1324
    1050 Hull / 1135 Scunthorpe / 1215 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1524
    1150 Bradford / 1230 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1625
    1430 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1824
    1355 Hull / 1440 Scunthorpe to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1824
    1700 Hull / 1745 Scunthorpe / 1825 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 2124

    Sunday
    0750 Hull / 0835 Scunthorpe / 0915 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1241
    0850 Bradford / 0930 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1344
    1310 Bradford / 1350 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1723
    1320 Hull / 1405 Scunthorpe / 1445 Doncaster to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 1811
    1625 Hull / 1810 Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway for St Pancras 2211
     
  13. mirodo

    mirodo Member

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    I remember looking at the service when it served Burnley. Due to the coach serving seemingly every shack along the way from East Midlands Parkway to East Lancashire, the journey was no quicker (or cheaper) than taking the National Express service from Victoria Coach Station to Manchester and changing onto the X43 Witch Way to Burnley.
     
  14. 700007

    700007 Established Member

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    Ouigo?

    In the case of East Midlands though it tends to not have a slower alternative and the fares, you do have to agree, are higher than most other TOCs. I correct myself, East Midlands is the slower alternative yet somehow more expensive? It is just as quick, providing the connecting service is a very short wait and on time, to go via the ECML and change at Grantham (for Nottingham) or Doncaster (for Sheffield).

    Megatrain was effectively a Stagecoach loyalty scheme for those who were regular Stagecoach passengers. You saying it should not be a thing effectively is like saying Tesco should not have the club card because unless you are a club card holder, you won't be able to reap the benefits.

    I do agree with you in terms of the slower alternative having cheaper fares like with Virgin Trains / West Midlands Trains but East Midlands Trains is not really the quickest train out there and for the facilities it provides, is it value for money to the paying customer?
     
  15. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Almost to the end of SWT’s regime there were no Advance fares available at all for journeys within the majority of their network, ie east of Salisbury and Brockenhurst, the reasoning being they were not necessary alongside ‘megatrain’.
     
  16. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Megabus+ was always a better option than National Express from Huddersfield, as the NatEx service from there spends hours creeping round the suburbs of Sheffield! Whenever I've used the service it's been busy but at those low fares I suspect it was always a "loss leader".
     
  17. Sapphire Blue

    Sapphire Blue Member

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    On one now - Huddersfield to St. Pancras.
    Megabus southbound has helped me justify my 1st class northbound journeys to and from countless matches for years.
    I'll miss it if it goes.
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And this is the problem I had with it - you had to know about it rather than it being available at all railway sales channels, and it also had inferior T&Cs to a real Advance (I recall that no cycle carriage was permitted, for instance).
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    A "low cost TGV" operation by SNCF that, like Megatrain, is not available through normal sales channels.

    It really wasn't anything of the sort. It was a sly attempt at price differentiation, using peoples' ignorance of sales channels to get away with charging them more. Megabus+ rather less so, being a more innovative thing, but still not available via railway sales channels.

    A loyalty scheme requires loyalty to be one. The Gold Card scheme is an example of a loyalty scheme the railway has - invest in a 12 month season ticket, and get discounts in return.

    That EMT fares are too high (and I would agree they are, particularly walk-ups) is not really anything to do with Megatrain/Megabus+.
     
  20. MichaelAMW

    MichaelAMW Member

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    ... and you go on to provided a long list of services that rather contradicts the idea that the offering is "pitiful". It's less than it was but you do seem to be exaggerating.
     
  21. Malcolmffc

    Malcolmffc Member

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    Who is taking a cycle on a coach?
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The X5 takes cycles. But I was referring to Megatrain.
     
  23. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

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    I'm no fan of Stagecoach, but isn't this actually a genius idea ? We constantly hear politicians talking about integrated transport, and yet there are few examples of proper feeder services across transport modes. It seems quite a simple idea to feed additional passengers onto / off much quicker rail services to a tertiary destination not well directly served by rail. If anything, it seems like this is the sort of thing DfT should be obliging rail operators to do.
     
  24. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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    If they didn't, why would The Tube (operated by Stagecoach) offer a specially designed cycle storage bay that accommodates 2 bikes on every service?
     
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I agree, but it should be done by putting the buses into the railway ticketing system, not vice versa.
     
  26. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    I think Megabus+ was quite novel and well-executed by Stagecoach.

    Seems to have had much more longevity than the Virgin Trains 'Raillinks' Coach/Bus links of the late 90s, by being well advertised through the standard Megabus website, sold no differently to standard Megabus fares.

    I guess it was targeted at the coach users market, for whom the opportunity to 'upgrade' to a train is a bonus.

    Encouraging rail users to 'downgrade' to a coach link, even if it makes the journey quicker, is a much harder sell!
     
  27. anti-pacer

    anti-pacer Established Member

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    I've started using this service and have just booked tickets travelling from Huddersfield on 28th April and back from London on 30th April. It's cost me just £10!

    Now I used to work for National Express and used my free travel pass all the time, normally from Nottingham/Leicester to London. When I left I rarely went on a coach, and just wouldn't travel to London and back in a day by coach from Huddersfield. This however is a good combination and VERY cheap. I like the break of journey in between, and the driver I tend to get on a Sunday goes out of Huddersfield via Shepley, joining the M1 at Barnsley, so it's quite a scenic route.

    I cannot praise this service enough and if I wasn't moving to Maghull (Liverpool) next month, I would be gutted if (or should I say when) it goes.
     
  28. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    I believe those have now been replaced by Plaxton Elite I's.
    Sam
     
  29. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    It is only a long list because the services differ by day Five services each way Sunday to Thursday and seven on Friday and Saturday really isn't much of an operation. (I concede that Hull Trains and Grand Central aren't much more.)
     
  30. Impey0711

    Impey0711 Member

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    I use the megatrain part quite often between London and Leicester vice versa quite often I get the fare for £9 or £11 but now they will stop I will more than likely use the coach not necessarily quicker but megabus charge between £4-6 and Nat ex normally £5 I'll be gutted as the train made the trip so much more easier
     
  31. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    Suspect it wouldn't have happened at all if this was the case. Exactly to which passengers advantage would that be?
     

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