Flixbus start running services on some UK routes again

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overthewater

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I have to agree, Good riddance aswell, but don't write them off just yet, they may will come back in years time.

Why has the Bristol route still running? It seems you can still get a ticket from Manchester to London but only at the weekend. Is that a bug?
 

markymark2000

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I have to agree, Good riddance aswell, but don't write them off just yet, they may will come back in years time.

Why has the Bristol route still running? It seems you can still get a ticket from Manchester to London but only at the weekend. Is that a bug?
What I can see is that all tickets are on sale for post 18th December. It could be to do with the local restrictions coming in recently as NatEx have massively cut back their network as well.

As for Bristol, it was noted on a National Express Facebook Group (by someone who is very in the know) that the NatEx 40 is the busiest on the network at the moment. If that's the case, Flix may well be carrying passengers on that route.
 

Boo_

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They are trying to cherry pick as there no local restrictions maybe it times the same rules as local bus routes should apply to stop acts like this with no warning dropping services with no warning. all good news for NX and Megabus as they know they can see them off if they under cut

But cherry picking does not work to pick good days only as people like to stick to 1 company as people end up getting mixed up with pick up points.
Even Megabus found out they need to sell tickets at bus stations as people do buy just before coach leaves or people miss the coach and want to still travel.

Think they done the maths as NX is undercutting them and they have to pay for a overnight for drivers. 25 passengers at say £5 is hurting them and that if they sell 25 passengers at that price as once they bump price up people move to others
 

markymark2000

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They are trying to cherry pick as there no local restrictions maybe it times the same rules as local bus routes should apply to stop acts like this with no warning dropping services with no warning. all good news for NX and Megabus as they know they can see them off if they under cut

But cherry picking does not work to pick good days only as people like to stick to 1 company as people end up getting mixed up with pick up points.
Even Megabus found out they need to sell tickets at bus stations as people do buy just before coach leaves or people miss the coach and want to still travel.

Think they done the maths as NX is undercutting them and they have to pay for a overnight for drivers. 25 passengers at say £5 is hurting them and that if they sell 25 passengers
Is it cherry picking though or just reducing their losses?

National Express has similarly reduced their network vastly in the past 2 weeks. Liverpool to Manchester was hourly pre Covid, down to 5-6 trips a few weeks ago and now only 1 trip per day. Manchester to Leeds has a similar story.


I think it was a silly time to start up and even putting that aside the advertising was dismal (Did anyone see the Liverpool, Leeds or Sheffield adverts because I didn't). They didn't even have all the UK stops on the global map. It was a dreadful startup. I don't know if they normally startup somewhere and get passengers instantly but in my experience, you need to advertise if you want to get any sort of decent usage.
 

Bletchleyite

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I wonder if they were perhaps wanting to get a quick go in before Brexit perhaps makes it harder for them?

It was an awful "effort", though. I'd fully expected them to come in all guns blazing with a big national effort and end up taking over Megabus or NatEx (as I don't think there's room for a third large national operator, and there is precedent for Souter flogging to them). But it was not to be. Maybe no bad thing; I don't like seeing British companies taken over by foreign companies for no great benefit, all that does is sends money abroad.

Mind you they could be back later.
 

Llandudno

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In my opinion the Flixbus concept is a barnpot idea?

Bit like the Fflecsi bus service springing up in parts of Wales except that this is paid for by the tax payer!
 

Bletchleyite

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In my opinion the Flixbus concept is a barnpot idea?

Bit like the Fflecsi bus service springing up in parts of Wales except that this is paid for by the tax payer!

Not sure in what way it is; it's a conventional timetabled coach service basically the same as Megabus/NX (but run in a bizarrely incompetent manner). Are you thinking of that other thing, I forget what it was called? Where it only operated if enough people booked?
 

Llandudno

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Not sure in what way it is; it's a conventional timetabled coach service basically the same as Megabus/NX (but run in a bizarrely incompetent manner). Are you thinking of that other thing, I forget what it was called? Where it only operated if enough people booked?
Sorry, yes it was, can’t remember the name of it, I presume that has vanished as well!
 

Joel_F

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Not sure in what way it is; it's a conventional timetabled coach service basically the same as Megabus/NX (but run in a bizarrely incompetent manner). Are you thinking of that other thing, I forget what it was called? Where it only operated if enough people booked?

I think you're thinking of sn-ap?
 

Llandudno

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I think you're thinking of sn-ap?
Yeah, that’s the one!

It set up in a blaze of publicity, sort of vanished after six months or so, then came back in a smaller less ambitious form, and presumably vanished again, probably for good.

A totally bizarre concept in my view, and how they ever thought they could make money from it I’ll never know!
 

Joel_F

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A totally bizarre concept in my view, and how they ever thought they could make money from it I’ll never know!

I'm sure people said the same thing about Google, Facebook etc when they were new! It won't become a success unless it gets started...
 

ainsworth74

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Think we're getting a bit off-topic here. This thread is about the rise and fall of Flixbus in the UK. Snap would be suitable either for an existing thread or for a new thread if one does not already exist.
 

Boo_

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What scary is if got market share they would cut routes and change times with no warning and people could just lose their only coach service.
 

markymark2000

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What scary is if got market share they would cut routes and change times with no warning and people could just lose their only coach service.
That looks to be how Flix works in other countries.

NatEx and Megabus are the same though. They change services without notice. NatEx and Megabus only have to notify of the changes where the services are registered.
 

RT4038

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That looks to be how Flix works in other countries.

NatEx and Megabus are the same though. They change services without notice. NatEx and Megabus only have to notify of the changes where the services are registered.

Natex and Megabus don't have to notify anyone of 'the changes', aside from not selling tickets for trips that are not going to be operated. They are (by and large) unregistered express services.
 

markymark2000

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Natex and Megabus don't have to notify anyone of 'the changes', aside from not selling tickets for trips that are not going to be operated. They are (by and large) unregistered express services.
In the same way, Flix don't have to notify people. That's what I was trying to get at. None of the existing operators do or have to notify anyone of changes (except passengers with tickets for an amended service) and so it's not something that can be pinned against Flixbus when all the coach operators are the same (in that respect)
 

RT4038

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I wonder if they were perhaps wanting to get a quick go in before Brexit perhaps makes it harder for them?

It was an awful "effort", though. I'd fully expected them to come in all guns blazing with a big national effort and end up taking over Megabus or NatEx (as I don't think there's room for a third large national operator, and there is precedent for Souter flogging to them). But it was not to be. Maybe no bad thing; I don't like seeing British companies taken over by foreign companies for no great benefit, all that does is sends money abroad.

Mind you they could be back later.

I think you are probably being a little harsh. The Flixbus operating model differs from that of Natex or Megabus - operators are not contractors but franchisees having to take both operational risk and revenue risk. I suspect it has been incredibly difficult for them to find operators prepared to take this revenue risk. Consequently they have had to 'start up' where they could in order to show waverer operators how good things are operating a Flixbus franchise . This has possibly backfired.

What scary is if got market share they would cut routes and change times with no warning and people could just lose their only coach service.

Why is this scary? The Government subsidies and legislates the railway as the long distance operator 'of last resort', so coach services are entirely commercial.
 
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Boo_

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I think you are probably being a little harsh. The Flixbus operating model differs from that of Natex or Megabus - operators are not contractors but franchisees having to take both operational risk and revenue risk. I suspect it has been incredibly difficult for them to find operators prepared to take this revenue risk. Consequently they have had to 'start up' where they could in order to show waverer operators how good things are operating a Flixbus franchise . This has possibly backfired.

ely commercial.


Who going to pay to be a franchisees in UK and pay for what? they are nobody's and it been shown there not a name here and dont know what they're doing with GB rules.

And anyone who wants to take risk are welcome to ask megabus if they can run coaches in megabus blue.
As megabus would be ok with putting new routes on their website if you're going to offer a good standard and give megabus a cut.


Why is this scary? Well NX don`t just do core city to city travel they do local shops and offer lifelines with some stops are the only bus service and they sell tickets on board. think of a market without NX there be no coach stations / local pick up no timetables. NX routes do have timetables that they always run unless of a issue that they have to close the service. Also, would Flixbus put on a taxi? or just refund.
 

GusB

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Who going to pay to be a franchisees in UK and pay for what? they are nobody's and it been shown there not a name here and dont know what they're doing with GB rules.

And anyone who wants to take risk are welcome to ask megabus if they can run coaches in megabus blue.
As megabus would be ok with putting new routes on their website if you're going to offer a good standard and give megabus a cut.


Why is this scary? Well NX don`t just do core city to city travel they do local shops and offer lifelines with some stops are the only bus service and they sell tickets on board. think of a market without NX there be no coach stations / local pick up no timetables. NX routes do have timetables that they always run unless of a issue that they have to close the service. Also, would Flixbus put on a taxi? or just refund.
I really don't think Flixbus gaining market share will cause National Express to have an existential crisis - well, not yet anyway, and certainly not in the current economic climate.

I hadn't realised they were using a franchise model. Perhaps if they'd gone down the more traditional route of using contractors they might have had a bit more success; there are many coach operators out there who are struggling for work, after all.
 

freetoview33

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I really don't think Flixbus gaining market share will cause National Express to have an existential crisis - well, not yet anyway, and certainly not in the current economic climate.

I hadn't realised they were using a franchise model. Perhaps if they'd gone down the more traditional route of using contractors they might have had a bit more success; there are many coach operators out there who are struggling for work, after all.
The only issue is it would mean Flixbus would have shared the financial burden then.
 

Boo_

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The only issue is it would mean Flixbus would have shared the financial burden then.

Yes but Flixbus is really just a Internet website and ticket agent and has been very lucky to get as far as they had.

But they never really taken on stagecoach and NX on their own market and the UK market is well controlled with rules.

NX and Stagecoach don't really fight as they so have agreements. to point when I worked for NX and Megabus we used to help each other out.

Stagecoach got out of Europe as they could not crack it as it like the wild west with it like the 80s here.
 

RT4038

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Who going to pay to be a franchisees in UK and pay for what? they are nobody's and it been shown there not a name here and dont know what they're doing with GB rules.

And anyone who wants to take risk are welcome to ask megabus if they can run coaches in megabus blue.
As megabus would be ok with putting new routes on their website if you're going to offer a good standard and give megabus a cut.


Why is this scary? Well NX don`t just do core city to city travel they do local shops and offer lifelines with some stops are the only bus service and they sell tickets on board. think of a market without NX there be no coach stations / local pick up no timetables. NX routes do have timetables that they always run unless of a issue that they have to close the service. Also, would Flixbus put on a taxi? or just refund.

I believe they collect their franchise fees as a percentage value of the tickets sold. They may not be known here (yet), but they weren't known in any of the European countries before starting up, and seem to have carved out a pretty large business quite quickly. Their falling foul of GB rules is only a minor hiccup, not that unusual of any business starting up in a new country.

Operators wanting to take both operational and revenue are no doubt welcome to ask megabus for a similar arrangement, but that is of no interest to Flixbus who will want their brand and operating practices.

Flixbus sell tickets on board also. NX have been gradually withdrawing from local stops and cross country routes over the years, and frequently change their timetables to try and match supply with demand. Megabus are in a similar situation. This is what happens when coaches are operated on a purely commercial basis nowadays. Flixbus are no different.

Not sure what your issue about coach stations are?

Flixbus may find it difficult to become established here due to the developed state of the UK scheduled coach industry, especially with the depressed passenger numbers due to Covid.

Is revenue risk with the operator in Germany as well, or was this just for the UK?

This is the model of Flixbus from start up, including in Germany. I believe it is a little more complicated, in that there is some 'support' during the initial start up phase. Some years ago a consortium of German operators were threatening to take Flixbus to court over certain onerous conditions, but I believe it was settled before reaching there.


Yes but Flixbus is really just a Internet website and ticket agent and has been very lucky to get as far as they had.

But they never really taken on stagecoach and NX on their own market and the UK market is well controlled with rules.

NX and Stagecoach don't really fight as they so have agreements. to point when I worked for NX and Megabus we used to help each other out.

Stagecoach got out of Europe as they could not crack it as it like the wild west with it like the 80s here.

Either very lucky or very clever. You can make up your own mind on that one

The UK long distance coach market is no more 'well controlled by rules' than any other European country - in fact Germany has much more rules than the UK, even though it is 'deregulated'

I cannot believe that NX and Stagecoach have 'agreements' so they don't really fight. These would be illegal, but if you have evidence of some then perhaps you could post on here? Helping each other out in emergency situations does not constitute an agreement not to compete!
 

richw

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I cannot believe that NX and Stagecoach have 'agreements' so they don't really fight.
Informal gentleman’s agreements are suspected at many operators across the U.K. A lot of senior managers have been colleagues in the past and still work together to ensure success for their old mates
 

RT4038

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Informal gentleman’s agreements are suspected at many operators across the U.K. A lot of senior managers have been colleagues in the past and still work together to ensure success for their old mates

Only a suspicion though, and could be in any other industry or commercial walk of life.
 

Boo_

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I believe they collect their franchise fees as a percentage value of the tickets sold. They may not be known here (yet), but they weren't known in any of the European countries before starting up, and seem to have carved out a pretty large business quite quickly. Their falling foul of GB rules is only a minor hiccup, not that unusual of any business starting up in a new country.

Operators wanting to take both operational and revenue are no doubt welcome to ask megabus for a similar arrangement, but that is of no interest to Flixbus who will want their brand and operating practices.

Flixbus sell tickets on board also. NX have been gradually withdrawing from local stops and cross country routes over the years, and frequently change their timetables to try and match supply with demand. Megabus are in a similar situation. This is what happens when coaches are operated on a purely commercial basis nowadays. Flixbus are no different.

Not sure what your issue about coach stations are?

Flixbus may find it difficult to become established here due to the developed state of the UK scheduled coach industry, especially with the depressed passenger numbers due to Covid.



This is the model of Flixbus from start up, including in Germany. I believe it is a little more complicated, in that there is some 'support' during the initial start up phase. Some years ago a consortium of German operators were threatening to take Flixbus to court over certain onerous conditions, but I believe it was settled before reaching there.




Either very lucky or very clever. You can make up your own mind on that one

The UK long distance coach market is no more 'well controlled by rules' than any other European country - in fact Germany has much more rules than the UK, even though it is 'deregulated'

I cannot believe that NX and Stagecoach have 'agreements' so they don't really fight. These would be illegal, but if you have evidence of some then perhaps you could post on here? Helping each other out in emergency situations does not constitute an agreement not to compete!
There was a Gentleman to agreement that megabus would have main student market and national express would have airport market.

Often at VCS ( Victorla ). Megabus would sometimes ask National Express onsite managers if they could help move passengers it used to work both ways. also, there was a case of on M1 a NX coach or was other way round broke down and was picked by other that had seats. it worth remembering Stagecoach runs services for National Express. I worked for NX and Megabus there was no bad feeling when there was issues, we Helped each other but would Flixbus?

it like the battle of the airports with National Express and terrivison and arriva that did get bitter.

I know there was a issue at Barnsley when a Megabus was seen in that depot at same time as a NX and NX did not want to see Stagecoach Yorkshire having Megabus and NX coaches at same depot.

Reason the drivers are based a Wooley edge and NX at Chesterfield

If NX and Megabus did go on a war none of them would win as both got the money to undercut each other.

But what has happened is Megabus has made NX up their game and both work off each other.
 

MotCO

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Often at VCS ( Victorla ). Megabus would sometimes ask National Express onsite managers if they could help move passengers it used to work both ways. also, there was a case of on M1 a NX coach or was other way round broke down and was picked by other that had seats. it worth remembering Stagecoach runs services for National Express. I worked for NX and Megabus there was no bad feeling when there was issues, we Helped each other but would Flixbus?

I don't have an issue with NX helping Megabus out or vice versa, since at the end of the day the passengers are being looked after. I would question why Megabus sold more tickets than were on the coach, unless there was a late coach substitution which had fewer seats.
 

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