A regular commentator here, Dennis Dash, took the Greyhound to London yesterday. Here are his initial impressions of Greyhound.
I travelled on the 0910 from Southampton this morning on 23315 Sweet Caroline – on time from all stops in Southampton then a good smooth run with driver Paul via the M3, joining the M25 at 1030, then via the M4 bus lane and Hyde Park Corner to arrive 4 minutes late at 1133. There were about 8 passengers on this trip. I think Earls Court would have been quicker, but you never know for sure do you.
I had booked on the 1930 return tonight, but on seeing the weather forecast last night took the opportunity to check fares on earlier departures – the 1730 was a bit pricey so booked on the 1530 for £1, in case London was wet and miserable. Sure enough, as soon as we arrived at Bulleid Way this morning, the heavens opened, so after a trip to the Ian Allan bookshop and two Routemaster rides (East London RM 324 and First ‘SRM 3′) I returned to Victoria for the 1530. The surprise here was the 1445 Portsmouth departure – an 8 seater Ford Transit Taxibus with a Portsmouth phone number emblazoned on it. Not quite what the 7 passengers expected, but I suppose they had probably only paid £1 each, like me.
My 1530 Southampton departure was on 23319 Sherry, with 12 passengers and two drivers, Debbie being at the wheel. She started professionally with her announcements,
but soon got herself very tongue tied and declared herself a dippy brunette !
The route was the reverse of the morning – exit from London was good as after a 1533 departure we passed the Natural History museum at 1543 and Hogarth roundabout at
1555. The M25 was a bit congested but the M3 was reached by 1630. However, time was lost after that with traffic on the M3 past Winchester and in The Avenue, resulting in a 15 minute late arrival in Southampton.
Overall a good experience – I have already booked two more round trips (including a Portsmouth), and found the leg room and comfort on board to be excellent. The leather
seats with 3-point seatbelts are nice, there are curtains and power points for laptops as well as wi-fi. The free newspaper was the Southern Daily Echo going up and The Evening Standard coming home – The Standard included a double page write up of a trip on Greyhound yesterday whilst The Echo also mentioned yesterday’s launch on the business pages.
After writing this Dennis Dash followed up with:-
We now know that breakdowns are dealt with by First Rail Support, who are based in Lancashire but have a huge database of taxi and coach operators from all over the country, hence why the 8 seat Transit appeared.
Apparently the 0910 from Southampton broke down on the M3 today whilst Alex Warner was on board being interviewed by Peter White for Radio 4 !!!
The breakdown he refers to is covered here. Seems like it ran out of fuel!!!