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Greyhound under starter's orders in Wales
Thursday 9 September 2010
Iconic Coach Brand set to Provide Services between Cardiff and Swansea
Greyhound UK, the low cost, high quality, luxurious coach operator, today revealed that it is to bring its iconic services to Wales from September 20.
For 96 years Greyhound has been an icon of American life carrying millions of people across the USA and Canada. Celebrated in film and song for nearly a century Greyhound has become the most famous bus brand in the world.
All the Greyhound UK coaches have names with the theme being women’s names from popular American songs. The coaches are called: Sweet Caroline, Proud Mary, Mrs Robinson, Good Golly Miss Molly, Barbara Ann, Billie Jean, Jolene, Peggy Sue, Mandy, Sharona and Sherry.
Greyhound announced its new services today at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff and Swansea’s Dylan Thomas Square and unveiled its state of the art coaches with the help of three retired greyhound racing dogs, Jasper, Bonnie and Ella.
Greyhound UK will operate 28 weekday services between Cardiff and Swansea, 24 services on a Saturday and ten services on a Sunday. All services include a stop at Bridgend.
The company will offer unrivalled product and service quality with a large range of cheap fares starting from £1, plus 50p booking fee, on www.greyhounduk.com.
On-board features include spacious leather seating, free wi-fi, power sockets, air-conditioning, complimentary newspapers and Greyhound also offers industry-leading customer service.
Alex Warner, Managing Director of Greyhound UK, was in Cardiff and Swansea for today’s launches and brought with him ‘Mrs Robinson’ from his Greyhound fleet to promote the new services.
Warner said he was delighted to expand the company’s services to Wales. “We brought Greyhound to the UK one year ago and our network until now focused on linking London with the South Coast. Entry to the Welsh market has been a key strategic aim since we brought Greyhound over from North America. I am delighted therefore that our services linking Cardiff and Swansea will begin from September 20.”
He continued: “Customers will be impressed by our cheap fares, which start from just £1, and also with the coach itself – for example the on-board features offer free wi-fi, plug sockets, complementary newspapers and 20% more leg room than traditional coaches.
“Our services will be more attractive than rival bus and train options, but we also believe that Greyhound’s growth in Wales will come from persuading more people to leave their cars at home and opt instead for our coaches.”
“We cannot wait to get started on September 20 and demonstrate just what a fantastic product Greyhound is.”
Greyhound anticipates that services will be particularly attractive to a young demographic profile that is media and technologically savvy – such as the large student populations in both Cardiff and Swansea. In addition, commuters, day trippers and those attending sporting and other entertainment events at both ends of the routes will also be attracted by the Greyhound product, service and value proposition.
For timetable information and to reserve seats, please visit www.greyhounduk.com.
Greyhound UK is owned by FirstGroup, Britain’s largest bus and rail operator. First is one of Britain’s biggest scheduled coach operators with over 250 vehicles operating under a variety of brand names. It purchased Greyhound in 2007 and has been operating the company in the US and Canada since then.
The Greyhound dogs that helped with the launch today are all retired racing greyhounds. Jasper (3) was living in a foster home, but is due to be adopted next week. Ella (3) is waiting to be adopted but a volunteer has yet to be found, while Bonnie (6) lives with Paula Ambrose, Co-ordinator of the South Wales branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust.
The Retired Greyhound trust was formed in 1975. Since then the charity has re-homed thousands of racing greyhounds and now has 72 branches throughout the UK. The South Wales RGT started in May 2003 and works alongside Greyhound Welfare. Between the two groups there are 24 dogs in kennels and eight in foster care.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.houndsandhomesinwales.moonfruit.com
A number of fact sheets are available for media:
· History of Greyhound – http://www.greyhound.com/HOME/en/About/About.aspx
· Greyhound facts and figures
· History of the Greyhound brand, its recent rebranding and taking it to the UK
· Greyhound UK specifications
· Greyhound UK service
· Biography of Alex Warner, Managing Director, of Greyhound UK
For any of these factsheets, further information or pictures, please contact Niall Dowds, FirstGroup PR Manager, on 07860 936671 firstname.lastname@example.org