German-based operator aims to be largest in UK by 2025

Initial network of 18 routes between 12 cities

Following an abortive assault on the UK scheduled coach market during lockdown last year, FlixBus has announced it is to relaunch domestic UK services next week.

This latest attempt to take on National Express and Stagecoach’s Megabus operations will see an initial network of 18 routes between 12 cities. Ticket prices start at £0.99 for a number of connections between London, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Loughborough, Manchester, Sheffield and Swansea.

There will be up to seven departures in each direction on peak days depending on the route. The most frequent corridors will be London-Bristol, and London-Birmingham.

In its latest attempt to take on the UK market FlixBus is talking big and says it has bold long term plans in the UK and aims to build the country’s largest express coach network by 2025.

As part of that roadmap the Germany-based firm will gradually increase the number of connections in the upcoming weeks. “The goal is to have a truly compelling offer by the summer, with new holiday destinations and a significantly increased number of cities in the domestic network,” said FlixBus.

It added that when the situation allows, FlixBus will also bring back international services between UK cities and destinations in continental Europe, such as Paris, Amsterdam or Brussels. These routes were all suspended last year as the UK and other European countries went into lockdown.

We are glad that we can provide a new, value for money mobility alternative to those travelling to meet their loved ones finally

“Many UK residents have held back their activities in the past months to reach the point where people can start to reunite,” said Andreas Schorling, managing director, FlixBus UK. “We are glad that we can provide a new, value for money mobility alternative to those travelling to meet their loved ones finally.

“Seeing the efficient vaccination program, we are hopeful that more and more passengers will have the opportunity to move around the country freely again in the upcoming period. Although outlooks are optimistic, we stay cautious: hygiene and safety continue to be our highest priority to ensure a safe journey.”

This article appears alongside further coverage in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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