A NEW coach service is to link Dorset with London.

Megabus will run one M3 route a day each way between Weymouth and the capital via Dorchester and Bere Regis, from Thursdays to Mondays.

The service, which will be operated via Bournemouth’s Yellow Buses, will run another four times a day in each direction from Poole and Bournemouth to London.

Coaches will stop at Heathrow as well as London Victoria.

The M3 service will serve Bournemouth University as well as the town’s travel interchange.

The service is aimed at day trippers in both directions and includes an 11.30pm departure from London to Bournemouth and Poole for theatre-goers and football supporters.

Fares vary but prices on the Megabus website are currently starting at £9.

Coaches will offer reserved seating, additional leg room seats, complimentary Wi-Fi and an onboard toilet.

Megabus managing director Mark Venables said: “The staycation summer is fast approaching and the south coast is a firm favourite for many of us.

“We are making day trips and longer stays to visit loved ones and tourist hotspots easier than before and at the same time, creating connections between the largest cities as well as airports across England, Wales and as far as Scotland.

“Yellow Buses are a highly respected local operator and it’s great to be able to partner with them to provide this service, as well as connecting journeys onto their local bus network to locations such as Christchurch and Wimborne.

"More and more people are discovering and coming back to the exceptional value and comfort of choosing Megabus coaches as we emerge from the pandemic, with the added advantage of coach being an incredibly sustainable travel choice."

The move presents competition for National Express, which runs the 035 between Weymouth and Victoria. Yellow Buses ran services for National Express until 2020, when the national company bought the Fareham coach operator Lucketts and took the service in-house.

Yellow Buses managing director David Squire said: “It is great to be able to partner with Megabus in providing these services. As the local operator of bus services in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole conurbation and south Dorset area, it is great for the local operator to be able to work with Megabus to provide the services.

“Megabus offer a great service, and like us expect the highest of standards from their drivers, so you can be sure of a great experience when travelling with us. The drivers are all local to Bournemouth and the surrounding area, so always have some help and advice to anyone visiting the area for the first time.

“With connecting tickets to be made available for the local service from Bournemouth to Christchurch and Wimborne, this will mean customers can purchase one simple ticket for their journey. We will also be selling Megabus tickets at our travel shop in Bournemouth.”