The cross-channel European Megabus contract has been terminated by Flixbus.
In July 2016, the retail operations of Megabus Europe was sold to Flixbus, though Stagecoach was to continue operating the services as a contractor. This commitment was then reduced at the end of August, with Stagecoach told that all of its branded inter-city coach services from depots in Italy, Germany and Belgium were no longer required.
The decision has now been made to end the cross-channel services operated from the UK to Europe, with effect from April 10, 2017. Megabus services within the UK are not affected, as Stagecoach continues to operate them wholly on a commercial basis with no involvement from Flixbus.
The cross channel services currently operate from Rugby, which is where staff will be affected by the development.
In a memo to employees, Steve Burd, Managing Director at Stagecoach Midlands, said: “We will work closely with the trade union in an effort to minimise the number of redundancies that will be necessary as a consequence of the loss of this cross-channel contract.
“There are, however, a number of lines of UK work effectively contained in the European Megabus drivers rota, which will continue and reduce the number of positions which will be subject to redundancy. There are also vacancies on the company’s Rugby Megabus UK and Warwickshire local bus rotas which are available.”
A megabus.com spokesman told CBW: “Since July 2016, we have operated a number of inter-city coach services between the UK and mainland Europe under contract to FlixBus. We have now received notice from FlixBus that it no longer requires us to operate these services on its behalf.
“We have met with trade union representatives to discuss the implications for the people we employ on this contract work. We appreciate this will be unsettling news for the employees involved and as a matter of course we will be keeping them regularly updated. megabus.com services in the UK, which we continue to operate directly, are not affected by this development.”
FlixBus had not responded to CBW as this issue went to press.