Buses and coaches are the cheapest form of public transport in the UK. There are bus stations in every town which then connect to the surrounding villages and other towns. To travel for longer distances, there are coach companies which offer a slightly more luxurious service as they have air conditioning, televisions, wi-fi and toilets. Coach companies operate from major towns and cities in the UK and offer some excellent deals.
Bus services vary throughout the country. To catch a bus you need to go to a bus station or a bus stop. A bus stop is usually marked by a sign on a lamppost, which will have the route numbers on it and the name of the operator. Busy bus stops will usually have a shelter and a timetable available to passengers. You cannot catch a bus unless you wait at a bus stop.
If you are a one off traveller, you can buy a ticket on the bus and make your journey. As the cost of travelling on a bus is relatively cheap, cash is the best option for payment and it is useful to have the correct change ready if you already know the fare. If you are intending to use a bus more frequently then you may want to purchase a special ticket that gives you unlimited travel for one day, one week or a month.
To plan your route by public transport you could try using a website like traveline.
Coaches are used for longer journeys across the UK. They tend to make a few stops at larger towns and cities instead of stopping every few minutes at small bus stops. The fares for coach travel are much cheaper than trains but your journey will take longer due to speed limits and traffic congestion. Most coach companies offer air conditioning, free wi-fi, toilet facilities and plugs for laptops and mobile phones.
The majority of long distance coach journeys are operated by National Express who travel to over 1200 destinations. They operate scheduled services all year round and travel the length and breadth of the country. They also have services to Europe. For a list of their routes and fares check out National Express.
There are other coach companies operating similar services and they are:
Provides a coach service into central London from Heathrow
which stops at 43 of Londons principal hotels. If you book the airbus direct service you can chose the time that you want to travel. Call Airbus on 0181 897 2688 to see if your hotel is included.
Provide a fast service between the West Country and London.
Scotlands leading coach operator travelling to over 200 cities and towns.
Operate a low cost service from central London to Luton airport, Stanstead airport and Gatwick. Prices are ridiculously low and worth using even if you not using the airport.
Provide coach services between London and the home counties.
Offers low cost inter city travel
Provides a coach service from Oxford to London
Provides a coach service between Reading and Heathrow