French Railways to launch bus service

SNCF, France’s rail service, is launching a bus service to try to encourage people to travel long distances by public transport instead of by car. It will also provide a cheap alternative to the SNFC top-speed, top-quality TGV trains.

The new bus service, called Speed, will start on 23 July with modern air conditioned coaches provided with WiFi connections.

There will be five daily return services to Brussels, four to London and three to Amsterdam. The service to Brussels will take 3 hrs 30 mins instead of the 1 hr 22 mins by TGV train.

The Speed service is the French answer to new English coach services launched recently in France by Stagecoach.

Another French coach service, called Starshipper, from Lyon to Turin via Chambery, starts on 6 July with two round trips a day and three at weekends.