Stagecoach today (Thursday 18 April) announced it is to launch a major network of overnight sleepercoach services from Scotland to London this summer using a £5m fleet of specially designed vehicles.
The fleet of 10 new coaches, equipped with a clever interior layout that allows the leather seats to be converted into lie-flat beds, will operate overnight seven days a week.
Stagecoach "Megabus Gold" Van Hool Astromega 50301 SF13 FMC (front view) photo courtesy of © Jamie Vendy
Stagecoach "Megabus Gold" Van Hool Astromega 50301 SF13 FMC (rear view) photo courtesy of © Jamie Vendy
Sleepercoach services will link London with Aberdeen, Aviemore, Cumbernauld, Dundee, Dunfermline Edinburgh, Falkirk, Ferrytoll park and ride in Fife, Glasgow Inverness and Perth.
The services will provide more than 1,700 lie-flat beds between Scotland and London every single week.
The state-of-the-art double-deck coaches measure in at 15 metres long and boast luxury leather seats with tables, power sockets, free Wi-Fi and a toilet. The specially designed vehicles have 53 seats that convert into 42 beds.
Customers will receive complimentary refreshments during their journey as well as a sleeper kit which includes an eye mask, a toothbrush and toothpaste. In addition, as a pilot, passengers will also be given a choice of a blanket or a onesie to sleep in during their journey.
Prices on the new services will range from £15 to £60. Journey times are comparable to existing sleeper train services, with customers able to make the trip from both Edinburgh and Glasgow to London in less than eight hours.
The launch of the new sleepercoach network follows the huge success of a pilot route between Glasgow and London using refurbished vehicles fitted with bunk beds.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Sir Brian Souter, who today unveiled the first of the new coaches at The O2 in London, said: “It used to be just popstars that had beds on board their tour buses – now everyone can benefit from a comfortable, great value overnight journey. You can go to sleep in one city and wake up in another ready to start the day without having to pay extra for an expensive hotel room.”
Specially designed and manufactured by Van Hool in Belgium, the sleepercoaches will operate under a new megabusgold.com brand. The first of the new coaches will replace existing vehicles on the current overnight route between Glasgow and London. All routes on the sleepercoach network are expected to be launched during the summer and will be operated through the Scottish Citylink joint venture between Stagecoach and international transport group ComfortDelGro.
The vehicles will also be used to operate on the existing Scottish Citylink Gold network through the day between Glasgow and Aberdeen and Inverness.
For a whole host of interior photographs of the new Megabus Gold sleepercoach check out the Oxford Chiltern Bus Page, and for more info & the latest news on Megabus Gold sign up for updates on the special Megabus Gold website
Many thanks to Jamie Vendy for kindly supplying the hot off the press photographs of the first of the stunning new Megabus Gold sleepercoaches, you can find more of Jamie's photographs on his Flickr Photostream