Eurolines Coach Services between Paris and Pays de la Loire/Normandy/Brittany
Eurolines, the biggest coach network in Europe, has won the right to transport passengers between a number of major towns in western France and Paris.
In February this year a change was made to the restrictive laws on coach travel in France (which exist to protect the state-owned SNCF train company) so that international coach operators are now allowed to accept domestic passengers within France on their existing routes. Eurolines immediately announced its interest in opening coach routes within France.
They are still restricted in that coach journeys entirely within France must not account for more than half of their passengers or revenue, and the regional authorities must agree to any proposed routes. It is thought that it is this latter restriction that has reined in Eurolines original plans to offer many more routes – up to 500 were initially suggested by the coach company.
Eurolines international coaches are typically 60-70% full and the changes to the legislation will allow it to sell otherwise empty seats.
At present the following routes are offered:
- Caen Paris
- Rouen Paris
- Rennes Paris
- Rennes Rouen
- Nantes Paris
- Angers Paris
Travelling by coach prices are considerably lower than SNCF but journey times, not surprisingly, are longer. For example, prices on Eurolines coaches are from 8 euros Paris-Rouen, a 2hr15 journey, compared with 21 euros and 1hr15 by SNCF trains. The other drawback is that there are many fewer services per week – only a handful, in fact.
All coaches have onboard toilets, air con, TV-video, double glazed windows, reclining seats and individual access to music/radio.
To check prices or book see the Eurolines website http://www.eurolines.fr/ which is in both English and French.