Today (Friday 19th July) saw the very first Megabus Gold service depart Plymouth, with one of the brand new, extremely impressive looking, Van Hool TXD29 Astromega. The honour was bestowed to SF13 FMP to work the 1635 Bretonside to London Victoria, who decided to disgrace herself temporarily with a faulty rear passenger door, delaying her debut departure! She would then work up to Scotland in 'Sleeper Mode' on arrival at London Victoria.
With thanks to the very cheerful Scottish crew aboard, they allowed me to jump on board and admire her from inside, and it must be said, these really are top spec! 2+1 seating is seen throughout the coach, with a table available at every seat, along with plug sockets. Wifi is also provided free of charge, but what is really nice to see is a return to having a host/hostess aboard for the journey serving complimentary refreshments, a real step forward! The layout though, although very impressive, does appear very 'messy', but undoubtedly this is required to ensure the maximum amount of beds can be accommodated. Interesting also to note that the seats at the front on the top deck are faced away from the glass with no top deck forward view. But of course, having a bed against the window could be very hazardous!
As can just be made out, the bedding equipment appears to be stowed in the luggage compartment at all times rather than being taken off and put on the coaches at their respective departure points. All this luxury actually comes at a very reasonable price though. After checking yesterday to see how much a I'd be paying for a seat on that particular journey, it was a mere £16 all the way to London, an absolute bargain! We shall soon see if this is a bit of an introductory offer, or whether indeed that price will be maintained!