ROY WHYTE looks into the development of the National Express ‘mega-routes’ between Scotland, London and the south and southwest coast, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Passengers for the overnight service to Glasgow boarding Alexander-bodied Guy Arab LUFs of Western SMT at Victoria Coach Station in London around the end of the 1950s. These 30-seaters were among the most luxurious British coaches of their age, with an on-board toilet and wide reclining seats.
National Travel West 270 (XTF 824L), a Duple Dominant-bodied Leyland Leopard, leaving Edinburgh for Manchester in late August 1980, little more than a month before coach services were deregulated.

The definition of a ‘mega-route’ relates to the mileage undertaken on a continuous coach journey from end to end without using a connecting service. It has been interesting to watch how mega-routes developed from the 1980s and how, up to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 these routes continued to be maintained and strengthened under National Express.

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