A Huge Percentage Will Travel By Bus & Coach
So let’s try the coach. There is no link from these pages to the excellent network maps, so we are truly in the hands of Heathrow’s technical wizards to help us.
And really they don’t!
With no maps Heathrow extols us to “plan our trip” by taking us to each of the company web sites in turn. We have no guidance as to what is on offer before we look and book.
O.K. A percentage of potential coach passengers will be from the UK flying OUT and thus coming BACK and using sme sort of return booking. So they may be OK. But what about the other half – those coming IN. Half of the 90 million passenger movements will be coming IN – that’s 45 million and about half of those will be “from afar” beginning theIr sojourn in beautiful Blighty,
So that is 22,5 million potential customers annually for Public Transport of which a hefty statistical chunk will be largely ignorant of what is on offer thus prey to the Heathrow Express con.
We get FIVE options.
A slightly scary picture that might be a bit off-putting to visitors. How will we find our coach amongst that lot? It is actually the Central Bus Station taken from an unflattering angle.
Something like this below would be less terrifying!
But when we click on we get no map or timetable, just invitations to “explore”.
There are “sample” routes …
… with a click leading to unhelpful first and last departures from the towns
. Shouldn’t we be given departures FROM Heathrow? And, before you write in, there is a route map …
Again, no information that is of any use, except for this glorious piece of nothing.
Thanks a bunch Heathrow and or Megabus!
Thanks a bunch, Megabus and/or Hetahrow!
This is First Bus’ brand for its three Heathrow services; and because we are linked to a reasonably well designed and informative Railair web site, we have quick access to full timetables.
The presentation of those timetables is, however, ghastly.
There is also a very weedy route map for each service.
Does First Bus senior management ever take a look at what they are providing for potential customers?
Perhaps the bosses don’t want customers – fat too challenging to deal with!
But at least there is a timetable and a map.
This is the “premium” service from Oxford run by GoAhead.
Clearly highlighted on the home page is access to a timetable.
And with a minimum of clutter here is that timetable.
The best of the lot. Maybe better if we didn’t have to have Gatport Airwick confusing the information for Heathrow.
But by far the best so far but that’s because the Airline web site is good.
fbb thinks that you have to have a Flixbus chip inserters in your brain to understand how to find out where and when their coaches go.
Their web site invites users to “discover” and offers a really useful map. NOT!
Of course, nowhere is a simple set of timetables for journeys from Heathrow.
Maybe if you do have that chip implanted, working out how. where and when is easy. fbb isn’t Flixbus chipped so is often mystified.
Flixbus timetables DO appear from time to tine, but fbb has never been able to find them routinely.
The overall problem here is simple. To put the least amount of effort inyo encouraging coach travel, Heathrow have simply linked to the company web sites.
Surely, if you really want to encourage coach use, you need a Heathrow specific coach site with maps, timetables and fares.
Has nobody ever thought of that?
The Heathrow BUS blog will follow later; possibly after the Scottish holiday.
P.S.The Newbury Buses 730/731 combo doesn’t seem to warrant a place although it is a similar set-up to Railair and Airline. They are all “pay the driver” limited stop “bus” services.
Next Variety blog : Sunday 10th September