Megabus UK Tickets, Timetables, Fares & Pricing for UK Train Travel

By | October 23, 2017

Megabus UK

Megabus UK is a long-distance bus/coach service that is run across Europe and that is well-known for offering very affordable fares over long distances. The organization offers comfortable facilities, very low prices and a range of destinations across Europe.

On this page, you will learn more about Megabus UK, it’s history, where it stops and how to get the very best deals and options.

History

Megabus is operated by the Stagecoach Group and began running back in August 2003. It started out in the UK, where it would predominantly offer cheap fares into London. One of the big selling points was that fares started as low as just £1, although that did include a 50p booking fee. These low prices were changeable however and were only possible thanks to a ‘yield management’ system. This means that the prices would vary depending on the anticipated demand. In short, the same journey might cost more or less depending on the number of other travellers.

The concept proved incredibly popular, offering commuters and tourists a very cheap and convenient alternative to travel by train. This popularity meant that it eventually expanded into the rest of Europe.

The company has links with Megatrain, which is also run by Stagecoach. Some routes then might involve connections between the busses and the trains, allowing for faster travel and even more destinations.

The coaches are instantly recognizable due to their unique and distinctive paint jobs. Megabusses are bright blue, with a yellow bus driver mascot that wears a hat.

Travel Options

Today, Megabus now offers over 90 different destinations. Here are just a few of the popular choices that are available in the UK:

  • Bath to London
  • Middelesbrough to London
  • Edinburgh to Newcastle
  • Birmingham to Edinburgh
  • York to London
  • Leeds to London
  • London to Aberdeen
  • Bournemouth to London
  • Leicester to London
  • Nottingham to London
  • Oxford to London
  • Manchester to Liverpool
  • Manchester to Leeds
  • Manchester to Birmingham
  • London to Sheffield
  • London to Coventry
  • Cardiff to Bristol
  • Bristol to Plymouth
  • London to Glasgow

As mentioned though, Megabus also operates in a range of other European countries. You can find it in France and Paris for instance. It also operates in North America.

There was a time you could use Megabus to travel internationally from the UK. It was previously possible for instance to get a Megabus from London to Paris. Today, that option is unfortunately no longer available and the website instead simply advertises that users can get the bus to Heathrow or Gatwick and then fly from there.

As mentioned though, Megabus also operates in a range of other European countries. You can find it in France and Paris for instance. It also operates in North America.

There was a time you could use Megabus to travel internationally from the UK. It was previously possible for instance to get a Megabus from London to Paris. Today, that option is unfortunately no longer available and the website instead simply advertises that users can get the bus to Heathrow or Gatwick and then fly from there.

Fares and Prices and How to Get the Best Deal

As before, prices for the Megabus are not fixed but are instead dependent on demand and on when you book. It’s amazing when you can get a ride to London for £1, but those seats will dwindle as the more people sign up.

Despite the £1 options being advertised so prominently by Megabus, the reality is that most tickets are going to cost you around £15 to £20 on average.

So, if you want to get the very best deals then, it pays to be proactive and to start looking as early as possible. The more the seats fill up, the more you’ll end up paying. Don’t put it off until the last moment!

If you go on the site early though and you already can’t find any cheap tickets, then it might be worth having another shot at it a little later. That’s because Megabus tickets are actually released in waves. So, if you go on the site and all the cheap options have sold out, you may be able to head back there a little later and find that there are more available again. You might want to check back daily and then act quickly when you find the sub £10 deal you’re looking for!

Another tip is to think about the time of travel. Megabusses travel at specific points throughout the day, though the exact times will depend on the destinations. By travelling at slightly less social hours, you can often get yourself a nice and cheap ticket. Of course that also means you need to wake up at unearthly hours!

When looking for tickets, make sure to tick ‘all’ under the ‘travelling by’ option. This way, you will be shown options for Megabusplus and Megatrain (the Megbusplus service combines the Megabus and Megatrain for through journeys). You might find that one of these is cheaper and/or quicker than a purely Megabus option!

Don’t forget to factor all of your travel into your decisions. If you are able to get a cheap Megabus ticket but you need to pay over the odds in order to get a taxi to take you to the station it is leaving from, then it might be cheaper overall to get a different mode of transport. Of course, you also need to consider the practical and comfort aspects. It might well be that it’s worth paying £5 extra if it means you can leave whenever you want…

And don’t assume that Megabus is always going to be the cheapest option. Remember, it’s not normal to get tickets for £1, it’s just possible. So, don’t forget to check the likes of National Express as well. They may just surprise you!

Facilities

Megabusses are not known for their luxury or their facilities, however they do offer more than the bear minimum and should provide a comfortable ride for most people.

One of the most common questions regarding Megabus is whether they have toilets on board. The answer is ‘yes’… for the most part! The official statement from Stagecoach is:

We try to make sure all megabus.com journeys are operated by vehicles that have onboard toilets.

So that means that your Megabus should have toilets but there may be the odd exception where they are not available, or where the toilets are out of order. If you are going on a long journey then always go to the toilet beforehand and check with the driver if you’re uncertain.

In terms of food, there are no snacks available to buy. However, you are free to bring cold food, cold drinks and hot drinks with lids onto the coach. That means that a bottle of water or juice is acceptable and you can bring a cup of tea or coffee as long as it is in a Styrofoam cup with a lid, or a flask that is sealed. You can also bring cold snacks in a lunch box for longer trips, but are not permitted to eat hot food.

Wi-Fi is offered on ‘many’ of the services, as are charging points. That means that you should generally be able to charge a device and use it on a long journey; useful for people who need to work on the move. Again though, it is not advisable to rely on this feature. According to the website:

*Wi-Fi and charging points are subject to availability and no refunds will be given if Wi-Fi and/or charging points are unavailable.

If you desperately need charging, then it’s a good idea to bring a battery pack of some form.

For those requiring travel assistance, there are options available. Those that need wheelchairs may be able to climb the few steps leading to the bus and the wheelchair will be stored in the luggage bay. Those requiring to remain in their wheelchair for the duration of the journey will need to call as early as possible – no less than 36 hours prior to the journey – in order to secure a place.

Dogs are not permitted on Megabusses, however an exception is of course made for assistance dogs such as guide dogs. Guide dogs must be properly harnessed at all times and under control of the customer.

For those with more questions, there is a form available on the website where you can get more answers.

In short, most of the features and facilities you might be looking for should be present. However, note that these busses are definitely functional rather than plush or luxurious. If you’re looking for a very comfortable journey or you’re celebrating a special occasion, then you may wish to look elsewhere.

Conclusion

To round up then, Megabus offers an excellent service and an easy way for many people to get incredibly cheap around the UK and even within Europe. The company is well known for its £1 fares but don’t assume that all journeys will cost so little. These prices are dependent on the number of travellers and so in order to get the low fees, you need to act as early as possible and you need to be flexible with your timings.

You’ll often be able to get a sub £10 deal though, which will also include a 50p booking fee. For that, you’ll get a fast and direct journey that should have basic facilities like toilets, WiFi and power – though none of the more exciting extras that you might get on more expensive services. This is a functional and practical way to travel for less.

 

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