Bus war looms on city express link

SCOTTISH Citylink accused rivals Stagecoach of attempting to drive it off the Edinburgh-Glasgow route yesterday after the firm bought the only other bus company operating between the cities.

Stagecoach announced it had taken over Motorvator, which will be merged with its Megabus service on the route, which offers discount pre-booked online fares.

Stagecoach, which is run by Brian Souter, confirmed it would keep the Motorvator name and take over the company’s drivers, but would not be buying the company’s buses.

Neil Wood, the managing director of Citylink, pledged to match any fare cuts introduced by Stagecoach, but said competition would be tough.

He said he expected his rivals to draft in double deckers formerly used on its Oxford-London express service for the route. Mr Wood said: "We cannot even fill single deckers, so Motorvator cannot be filling anything, and we are all pretty tight on fares. The fact that Megabus is disappearing from the route is an admission of defeat. It has been an abject failure and not worked even with 1 fares."

However, a spokesman for Stagecoach said some Megabus seats would still be sold online for the Motorvator services.

He said: "We have tried out the Megabus concept on a range of different routes and found that the types of journey that has most suited the dedicated Megabus operation are the medium to long-distance ones. That is why we are trying something different between Edinburgh and Glasgow."

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