National Express Celebrates 50 Years on the Road
13 June 2022 12:00 PM
National Express has good reason to celebrate 50 years on the road this year as it reports clocking up over 70% of its pre-pandemic mileage last month.
The UK’s largest coach operator has been building back its unrivalled network of intercity coach travel and is anticipating a busy summer season as demand for affordable and reliable travel grows.
Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach, said: “The rising cost of living is hitting everyone’s pockets. We’re seeing more and more people look to us to help them be able to afford to get where they want to be - whether that's to see friends and family, go on holiday, attend events, visit attractions or get to University.
“In 1972 a ticket from London to Birmingham cost £1.20. In today’s money that would be £13.89 but the actual average 2022 price for the same journey is only £8.15, demonstrating what great value we have always offered.”
In the last two months, an increase in frequency and new routes has seen over new 2,000 services per week added to the network with further growth planned. Recent developments include services from Plymouth and Great Yarmouth to London and a new route from Canterbury to Stansted Airport launches on 10 June.
Hardy adds: “Coach travel has moved on immeasurably in the last fifty years. Today, journeys are quicker and more reliable and our coaches are safer and more comfortable than ever.
“Plus we’ve set ourselves a target of a zero carbon fleet by 2035 whilst continuously investing to ensure we have the newest and greenest vehicles currently available on the road, so choosing to travel by coach is good for the environment as well as the pocket.”
One full coach will take 1 mile of cars off the road, reducing congestion and carbon emissions, alongside improving air quality. The Levante III Euro VI coach is bespoke to National Express and produces an average 21.7 grams of greenhouse gas emission per passenger km, lower than both rail and car.
In the last five decades the iconic white coaches have clocked 3.8 billion miles travelling the length and breadth of the UK, connecting people and making memories.
Chris Hardy added: “We’ve have been a part of people’s lives for half a century and it’s been great hearing stories from our customers and staff, past and present - from couples who met on the coach and are now married, recollections from our long-serving drivers and coach station staff, to tales from our former jolly hostesses. I’m incredibly proud of our achievements and look forward to continuing our journey as the nation’s number one coach operator.”
This summer National Express is planning a number of activities in celebration of its 50th anniversary including a 50-day giveaway, the publication of a commemorative book, National Express: The Journey of an Iconic Brand, and events across the UK to celebrate its history and showcase the modern coach travel of today. Look out for details on the website and social media channels. www.nationalexpress.com
Notes to Editor
To download a full press pack, including current and archive images, case studies of staff and customers, b-roll footage and further information, visit https://www.nationalexpressgroup.com/NEX50
The average age of a National Express coach is three years old and every one meets the highest possible engine emission standard (Euro VI)
Scheduled coach services run by the National Bus Company were first united under one brand, initially known as ‘National’ to then become National Express.
The most popular destinations for travel with National Express were London, Bournemouth and Blackpool. Today, airports and big cities such as Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester have taken over as more popular.
New services in operation from 10 June 2022:
Increased frequency of airport services, with a new route from Canterbury to Stansted Airport launching on 10 June
Relaunch of the overnight London - Dublin service with our partners Bus Eireann on 23 June following a two-year hiatus
New services from Plymouth and Great Yarmouth to London
Direct services and travel packages to some of the UK’s major summer concerts, festivals and sporting events including Glastonbury and events at Wembley Stadium.