Sometimes when an offer looks too good to be true – it often is!
A journey to London is long enough, so with that in mind, my itinerary reviewed for the journey, a good book to read, who I was to meet when I got off in London Victoria, at 7pm, and
the journey across London to get the train to Essex, everything planned down to the exact minute, what could possibly go wrong?
It was a weekend visit to Essex, arranged between myself and another and nobody else knew I was coming. It was to be a birthday surprise for one person. I was excited from the
off. I was to arrive at the London Victoria Bus station for 7pm. Then travel across London for the underground train and then the over ground train for the journey on to Essex!
Remember that time, 7pm, its important!
It’s a long journey regardless of motorway and pitstops for toilets and food. So it was extremely frustrating when the back axle was reported to be broken by the time we’d reached
Manchester. We were delayed some hours on the basis that we would be getting another bus to take us the rest of the journey. But no bus came. So we were in the Megabus with
the broken axle all the way to London. It was a long uncomfortable journey with frequent stops. We arrived in London at 11pm. I’d sent messages to those waiting at the bus depot
till my battery went flat. I’d also been awake for the whole journey, being as this was my first time travelling on my own.
Obviously with time against us we never made it into Essex until gone midnight. I was tired, and hungry but upon meeting my friends, given a celebrity welcome of screams and
hugs, since I lived furthest away, we celebrated with alcohol, and I got very drunk.
During my stay in London, and given that this was merely a weekend trip, I never went to bed till maybe Saturday night for Sunday leaving. I’d left on the Friday to travel South, and
thinking I’d have enough time to chat and catch up on sleep, I saw the dawn break, I’d sobered up and walked in a dream state around Essex, viewing the sights before falling
asleep on Saturday night somewhere around half 9. Sunday afternoon I was back at the bus station, dreading the journey home, but hoping as you do that there would be no screw
I was back with Megabus, this time without the trailer on the back which the first one had carried. We made our way home back along familiar streets, and roads and showing no
sign at one point of heading off onto the motorway and guess what, yes, we broke down again in Manchester.
I’d had enough by this point. I did fall asleep on the journey home because I was worn out but I drifted in and out of sleep, for the amount of stops we made. I’d recharged my phone
and texted home to say there would be some definite delays. I was told the bus was heading to Glasgow where I’d had to initially catch the bus into London. I’d insisted that it
dropped me off in Carlisle as I’d had enough by about this point.
It was nearly 11pm by the time Megabus pulled up at the bus depot in Carlisle. I was meant to have arrived in Glasgow for 9pm thank God for mobile phones.
Although my family were irate at having to wait for so long, it would have been longer if I’d travelled another 150 miles to Glasgow from Carlisle. We received no apologies from
Megabus. It seemed like the old adage, ‘you pays your money you takes your chance.’
Travelling cheaply isn’t always the better deal, I learnt that the hard way.
Since that journey I have visited London many times, but now I travel on Stagecoach because I can at least guarantee I’ll be there when it states, and the seats are comfier, and I can
And ok, the cost is a hike of more than £27 single fare, but I have peace of mind and I know that should it break down there will be a replacement bus on its way.
By DJ Forrest