Listen to this article here
Coach network FlixBus is teaming up with Stockport based operator Belle Vue Manchester to launch a daily service between major cities across the North.
The partnership will see Belle Vue serve passengers travelling between Manchester, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle.
Services will start at the end of April and will open a new cross-country corridor for passengers on the FlixBus network, adding new locations and better connectivity. The Manchester hub for the route will be Shudehill Interchange.
FlixBus currently serves a number of locations in the north west, including Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Lancaster. Services to and from Manchester include routes to London, Paris, Glasgow, Cambridge and Birmingham. Its new partnership marks an expansion into express coach services for Belle Vue, which is based at Discovery Park, Heaton Chapel, Stockport.
Belle Vue is taking delivery of a new FlixBus-branded MAN Neoplan Tourliner coach for the new service. As part of the FlixBus network, the vehicle will have free Wi-Fi, USB charging points, toilets and wheelchair accessibility. It meets Euro 6 emission standards and is equipped with the latest driver technology and safety features.
Andreas Schorling, managing director of FlixBus UK, said:
“Delivering new routes with high quality, award-winning operators like Belle Vue is truly exciting, as we continue on our mission to become the largest network in the country.
“Belle Vue has a clear vision for the transport industry to be clean, green and safe, with a reputation for high levels of passenger satisfaction and appetite for growth. We believe they will be a brilliant addition to our network of trusted partners, particularly ahead of the busy summer season.
“We are passionate about providing green transport for everyone everywhere, and our partnership with Belle Vue strengthens our ambition to connect all towns and cities in the UK.
“The new route will also support the government’s ambitions to ‘level up’ all parts of the country, encouraging travellers to use sustainable, eco-friendly transport methods.
“The north west has been an area of high passenger demand since our launch and Manchester in particular has been central to our growth, so we’re proud to be investing in sustainable and affordable transport options for the city, offering more connections than ever for passengers.
“In Belle Vue, we’re delighted to be working with an operator with such a strong presence and knowledge of the area.”
FlixBus, which is part of global travel tech brand Flix, is Europe’s largest long-distance bus network and now also operates in the United States, Canada and Brazil. The company officially launched its UK network in April 2021, and offers transport to over 40 destinations around the country as well as regular international services into continental Europe.
Phil Hitchen, managing director of Stockport-based Belle Vue, said:
“We have been following the rise of FlixBus in the UK over the past two years, and have been impressed by their ambition, rapid success and focus on sustainability.
“The FlixBus model allows us to diversify and add express services to our existing revenue streams. We felt it was a great time to join their network, which is showing great promise for growth and profitability in 2023, as well as being on track to become the largest in the UK.
“We see this service as the beginning of a long-term partnership that we plan to quickly evolve and grow.”