Advantages cheap, good range of destinations
Disadvantages not for those with long legs, only bookable on the internet
I like weekends away visiting my friends. It really cheers me up. The only problem is I do not drive (I am not allowed to as I am partially sighted) and have to rely on public transport. I have tried National Express coaches and trains and have had very mixed results. One thing I do find that unless you book about three months in advance (especially with the trains) traveling within Britain via public transport can be quite expensive.On my last trip to Glasgow to see friends I tried a new company www.megabus.com. This is a subsidiary of Stagecoach and offers dirt-cheap intercity coach travel As the name suggests they are an internet company and that is the only way you can book the travel which may be a hindrance for those who do not have internet access or credit or debit cards. The brilliant thing about them is that they offer travel from as little as £1 single to a number of destinations including London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Dundee, Perth, Inverness Aberdeen, Cardiff and Exeter
Website and bookingI was impressed by the website as it is ultra easy to use. It is simple and uncluttered with the navigation bars along the top and an easy to find help link. The black text on a yellow background is easy to read. The bus finder is on the front page so there was no hunting around the site so I could get the information I needed very fast.
To look for a journey all you need to do is find your destinations and the days you want to travel. The drop down menus are easy to use, as there is no having to worry about miss typed places or whether your dates are in a correct format.Once the database is searched it displays the various options that match your criteria. There are two buses a day for the Glasgow run and three coaches a day to London. There is no compulsory registration involved in booking. You only need to register if you want to track your orders.
Paying is easy. You just need to put in your card number as per usual. I trust Stagecoach, as it is an international company so I had no qualms about my card safety. I was impressed with the range of cards you can pay with. All major cards including visa electron are accepted. Once you book you get a confirmation email with your booking numbers. Do not lose these. This is your ticket. No booking number means no boarding the coach.The rest of the site is useful. There are timetables and good maps and instructions on where all the pick up pints are, as they do not tend to be in a major coach station. They tend to be very near them though.
The great thing about the coaches are the cost. I am not sure how they do it. I paid £4.50 for my journey from Manchester to Glasgow and that included a 50 pence booking fee. The train is £36.50 and National express is around about £30. I booked my journey a month in advance. If you booked the ay before it would cost in the region of £20.50.So does cheap costs mean a lack of quality in service.
I daunt it.
My bus to Glasgow was due to leave 13.20 from just outside Cholrton Street bus station.
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