Megabus will restart part of its scheduled coach network in England and Wales from Friday 3 July, the operator has announced.The restart has been timed to coincide with the further relaxation of restrictions from 4 July. Megabus says it has carried out “extensive research” into how its customers plan to use services in the future, with visits to friends and short breaks or holidays among popular answers.Adds Megabus Managing Director Mark Venables: “From the overwhelming response we received, we know that people are very keen to get back onboard as quickly as possible. With the extra safety measures that we have to ensure that our services are COVID-19 secure, and with customers following guidance, people can have confidence in travelling with us.”Reduced capacity will be in place onboard coaches. COVID-19 secure measures will further include:All coaches to be deep cleaned and undergo stringent checks before returning to serviceThe introduction of an enhanced daily and in-service cleaning regimeAnti-bacterial stations on all coachesExtra cleaning supplies provided to drivers for use during the dayDrivers equipped with face masks, face visors, gloves and hand sanitiserAn increased cleaning regime and filter changing schedule for air-conditioning units.Megabus services in England and Wales were suspended after Sunday 5 April. Routes within Scotland have continued to operate. There, they are used by key workers as part of their commutes and Stagecoach agreed with the Scottish Government that they would be retained. Anglo-Scottish services will restart “when restrictions allow,” says Megabus.Fellow Stagecoach brand Oxford Tube has already announced that its service will be reintroduced on 6 July. Competitor National Express will restart its network on 1 July with a restricted timetable.
A FORMAL investigation into the funding of the German post office Deutsche Post has been launched by the Commission, a move which has been welcomed by private competitors. Commission officials said they would probe whether Deutsche Post’s use of profits from its monopoly mail activities to cover losses in its parcels division broke EU state aid rules and whether it had used the profits illegally to fund a number of recent acquisitions.THE Commission said this week that it would not reopen an investigation into state aid paid to Italian flag carrier Alitalia in 1997 after the Italian government pledged to tackle alleged breaches of competition in the Italian aviation market. Acting Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock threatened last month to reconsider his decision to allow Italy to pay 1.4 billion euro in state aid to Alitalia two years ago because of concerns that Rome had not respected conditions attached to the deal.STATE aid to 450 out of 633 petrol stations which benefited from a Dutch scheme to compensate filling stations near the German border for a fall in sales has been outlawed by the Commission. The scheme was introduced following an increase in Dutch excise duties on light oil two years ago, which pushed prices up at pumps near the German border and led many local residents to go to pumps at German stations. SPANISH chemicals firm Ercros was given approval by the Commission this week to receive 1.1 million euro in state aid following the company’s reorganisation and sale of some activities.