By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent
The French Government’s approval of the Macron Law, a bill designed to modernise France’s economy, speed up growth and deregulate many industries, has led to a resurgence of coach travel in France after years of train domination.
France is expected to have in excess of 5,000,000 new coach passengers within the next year, resulting in an extra 22,000 jobs created. As a result, the travel industry will also experience the opening up of long distance coach operations across the country.
The deregulation of the market is also expected to see a ten to 70 per cent drop in ticket prices over the next year as more operators come into the market.
British companies, such as National Express and Megabus, are expected to expand their services into other areas of France outside of Paris. France experiences 14 million arrivals from the UK each year, with 6.9 million people arriving or using the French rail service whilst there. The Macron Law is expected to encourage a further 800,000 Brits to use coach transportation services in the years to come.
Popular Coach Journeys in France
The most popular coach journeys in France take place between the country’s capital of Paris and other major French and European cities such as London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Barcelona, Lyon or Marseille. Travellers will appreciate the services running through the South of France including the A9 road to Barcelona and the A7 (“Highway of the Sun”), which has been deemed the most beautiful motorway in France.
Major Coach Providers in France
The main coach providers operating in France include Eurolines, which provides many journeys across Europe, and iDBUS. There are also a number of regional companies operating in smaller, more concentrated areas like Les Cars Phocéens who run a regular service between Marseille and Nice. Many of the large cities in France also have transit buses that provide reliable transport within the urban centres.
Onboard Facilities and Services
Depending on the company and the particular journey chosen, onboard facilities can vary but usually include comfortable seating with reclining seats, air conditioning, toilets, Wi-Fi, and entertainment such as films and magazines. Many of the coach providers also have accessible coaches for passengers who require assistance.
GoEuro.co.uk, the search engine for comparing flights, coach and rail travel options across Europe, has put together a comprehensive map of all the 250 new routes available across France and into Germany, Amsterdam, Spain and Brussels as a result of the Macron Law.
To compare coach, rail and flights, visit www.GoEuro.co.uk.Coach Travel Erodes Rail Dominance in France