Flix across the Forth

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The coach heads for Aberdeen on the first northbound journey. JONATHAN WELCH

FlixBus recently launched its latest Scottish route with fanfare and cupcakes, and also some controversy over access to Aberdeen’s bus station. Jonathan Welch reports

Painting the world green. It’s a strapline we’ve heard a lot recently as FlixBus continues its aggressive expansion not just in the UK but worldwide, either through acquisitions or partnerships in new territories. Perhaps the most notable of these is the United States, where parent company Flix acquired iconic operator Greyhound, establishing a foothold and eliminating a significant portion of the competition in the process.

In the UK, it faces what is perhaps one of its biggest challenges, since the country is already home to three established names in intercity coaching: National Express and megabus in England and Wales, and the combined megabus/Citylink joint venture in Scotland. Between them, their networks already cover key axes and corridors, especially on the latter’s Scottish routes where services are much more frequent than most inter-city routes south of the border, and the coach offers a very viable alternative to rail. Growth through competition seems to be very much the aim of the game here, the most recent expansion being to Scottish domestic services. Existing routes between Aberdeen and Glasgow have been expanded from four times daily to seven return trip per day, and joined by a new thrice-daily Edinburgh-Aberdeen route. The Glasgow services serve Stirling, and those from Edinburgh run via Ingliston park & ride and Dunfermline, before both routes come together to serve Perth Broxden and Dundee on their way north, reflecting the stops offered by incumbent operator megabus/Citylink’s ‘Saltire Cross’ services.


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