Stagecoach confirms future for inter-city coach retail operations

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Stagecoach has confirmed the future of the retailing activities of its inter-city coach businesses, megabus and Falcon.

Both megabus and Falcon are Stagecoach’s 100%-owned inter-city coach operations, alongside the Scottish Citylink joint venture with international group ComfortDelGro. The joint venture is responsible for the Scottish Citylink express coach network and branded services to, from and within Scotland.

Stagecoach and ComfortDelGro have now reached agreement for Stagecoach to sell the megabus retail platform and customer service business, which sells and markets inter-city coach services in England and Wales, and Falcon South-West, which retails tickets for the coach route between Plymouth and Bristol Airport, to the Scottish Citylink joint venture.

In return, Stagecoach’s share of the Citylink joint venture will increase from 35% to 37.5%. Around 30 Stagecoach Group employees are expected to transfer to Scottish Citylink as part of the sale, and there will be no change to the operation of the inter-city coach services themselves.

Stagecoach Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said: “Inter-city coach has a positive future as a greener and better value alternative to the car and as the UK rail network continues to see rising fares and operational challenges.

“The agreement we have reached with ComfortDelGro will provide certainty for employees in these businesses, and ensure we can continue to benefit from future growth in the inter-city coach market through our increased share in the Scottish Citylink joint venture.”

On behalf of ComfortDelGro, Sean O’Shea, Chief Executive Officer for Metroline, said: “ComfortDelGro’s 20-year long relationship with Stagecoach in Scotland is set to expand and I look forward to working together to deliver great services for inter-city customers in England and Wales.”

The agreement is subject to certain conditions, and completion of the transaction is expected in mid-August 2022.

Stagecoach is to sell the retail activities of its megabus and South West Falcon operations to Scottish Citylink. JONATHAN WELCH