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And they're off....
Monday 20 September 2010
Greyhound coach services launched today
Greyhound, the world’s most famous bus brand, celebrated one of the most important landmarks in its near 100 year history when services in Wales began early this morning.
At 0630 Mrs Robinson, one of the Greyhound UK fleet, departed Swansea City Centre and arrived at Cardiff Bus Station on schedule at 0725. Meanwhile the first coach from Cardiff, left at 0730 and arrived in Swansea at 0825.
Greyhound UK, now operates regular, high quality, low cost services between the two cities. Fares start at £1 plus 50p booking fee from www.greyhounduk.com.
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.
Alex Warner, Managing Director of Greyhound UK, said he was ‘delighted’ with the level of interest and the number of bookings. “As we had hoped, brining Greyhound to Wales seems to have captured the public’s imagination. We are delighted with public response to our new services.
“We are particularly encouraged by the number of bookings we have received from commuters who are reserving a seat on multiple services well in advance of their journeys. We are also noticing a real demand for bookings at weekends as customers look to take advantage of sporting and entertainment events in both cities. Theatre goers, football, rugby and other sports fans already seem to have cottoned on to our frequent, high quality, low cost services.
He continued: “So far today all our Greyhound UK services ran flawlessly. Passengers, as we hoped, seemed to be very impressed the features on board, such as wi-fi, plug sockets, leather seating and complimentary newspapers. They were also very impressed with the leg room. Greyhound coaches have 41 seats rather than the 50 or so typically operated by other coach companies meaning 20% more leg room for customers. The real draws however were the competitive prices. Between 10-15% of all seats are sold for £1 plus 50p booking fee with an average fare of around £2.75.
“I have every confidence that passenger numbers will grow quickly and customers will continue to be impressed by our service offering. Judging by the level of interest and the number of bookings in Greyhound UK, we could have a real winner on our hands.”
Driving the first ever scheduled Greyhound service was John Jones from Llandarcy, near Neath. John was a driver for First in Cymru for around 30 years. He said: “Driving this fantastic bus is one of the highlights of my career – a real privilege. It is very sleek both in appearance and to drive - and so far has proved very popular with customers.”
For timetable information and to reserve seats, please visit www.greyhounduk.com.
FirstGroup, Britain’s largest bus and rail operator, purchased Greyhound in 2007 and has been operating the company in the US and Canada since then. First is already one of Britain’s biggest scheduled coach operators with over 250 vehicles operating under a variety of brand names
Picture caption: Greyhound UK coach, Mrs Robinson, departs on her maiden journey from Swansea to Cardiff