Written on: 26/10/2012
I have used megabus many times in the past, and will use them again, for short haul trips of up to 100 miles where the incredibly low cost makes it a no brainer.
But recently I was undertaking a return trip from Dundee to Manchester at a bargain rate of £19 all in. The bus down was alright, could have been cleaner and more comfy but at the end of the day it's a public bus!
The bus back was completely diabolical! The first problem was that the driver had maxed out his driving hours and therefor we had to pull over for an unscheduled rest near Carlisle. Fair enough to the driver, as it is the law and for our safety but surely since they do this trip twice daily they could organise it a bit better.
So after 20mins we were back on the road and all was well, for a bus, until glasgow where we were then informed that the bus fuel gauge had been on the red light for the past 60miles and they needed to take it to the depot on the outskirts of glasgow to refuel. Meanwhile the passengers were left waiting for 50mins outside Buchanan Street Bus Station which happened to be closed at the time and it was bloody freezing outside!
So eventually we were back on the road approximately 1hr 15mins behind schedule.
The next minor issue, or annoyance, was that we pulled over at a roundabout somewhere near Cumbernauld to drop a staff member off, adding 10mins onto the delay. BUT as it turns out the door up front wasn't working and the driver had to open the emergency exit up at the back for said staff member to disembark. Now by law busses are not road legle unless the pneumatic powered main door is completely functional. And this is a prosecutable offence for a driver to drive on with a malfunctioning door.
Eventually we got to Perth where we dropped people off and then the driver announces we have to go to the town centre bus depot to await an engineer to fix the door. So we eventually get to the bus depot and wait there for 20mins with the driver talking on his mobile phone. He then comes on and explains the legle problems with the door, but because we don't need to go on a motorway it somehow makes us ok to proceed to Dundee With the faulty door.
There was definitely a leak somewhere in the pneumatic system causing low pressure in the system meaning the door wasn't working, but this also could be affecting the braking system as well. And true enough there were some hissing noises coming from the rear of the bus whilst braking. But by this time I was too tired and fed up to complain.
We eventually got to Dundee where the driver had the sense to ground the bus and hail taxis for the passengers who were going on to Aberdeen. Luckily for me I was to disembark at Dundee.
And before I forget, the busses were dirty and smelly, and the bathroom door didn't lock causing embarrassing situations for some passengers and another dangerous situation as the door was swinging wildly into the gangway. And to add insult to injury the driver told us he had booked that particular bus off due to the door problem the previous day!
So overall I am amazed at how poorly maintained stagecoach maintain their megabus fleet and how negligent the driver are!
I was meant to get in at 12:40am but instead got in at close to 2:30am.
Poor show megabus, the extra cost of the train is suddenly justifiable! It's cleaner, more comfortable and as it turns out much safer.