Council Leader visits Birmingham Coach Station to mark anniversary
National Express UK Coach Managing Director Tom Stables with Birmingham City Council Leader Sir Albert Bore
Birmingham Coach Station – the flagship headquarters of multinational transport company National Express - has marked its fifth anniversary with a visit from city council leader Sir Albert Bore.
During a walk-round visit of the £15 million station, which became the first of Birmingham’s new transport gateways when it opened in 2009, Sir Albert, who also got behind the wheel of a coach, praised the contribution of the coach industry to the region’s transport.
In the five years since opening, an estimated ten million journeys have taken place at the Digbeth-based station which employs almost 400 people including frontline staff, office staff, graduates and apprentices.
Approximately two million passenger journeys – a figure almost double the population of Birmingham – are taken every year with the station providing the city with a vital, affordable connection to around a thousand destinations in the UK, including major airports, and opening it up for business to inbound travellers.
Sir Albert Bore said: “I was pleased to visit Birmingham Coach Station, which, ahead of the redevelopment of New Street, was the first of Birmingham’s new major transport gateways and has played a key role in the on-going regeneration of Digbeth. Coach travel plays an essential role in enabling people to get about affordably and it is great to hear that it is going from strength to strength in our region.”
Tom Stables, National Express UK Coach Managing Director said: “It is with great pleasure we mark the fifth anniversary of Birmingham Coach Station, which is a 24/7 operation at the heart of the city. Birmingham Coach Station is a core part of the regions’ transport network, opening up Britain and beyond affordably to the millions who travel on our unrivalled national network of coach services to destinations including airports across the UK.
He added: “Coach travel is an increasingly popular choice – record journeys have been taken with National Express this Christmas and since opening the Birmingham Coach Station has become a 365 day a year operation to cope with demand for year-round value travel”.
158 departures are made every day from Birmingham Coach Station, which is open 24/7. On days with festivals or special events, such as England games at Wembley, or festivals including Glastonbury and V, additional specialist events services are laid on for fans.
Daily direct departures are also operated by National Express’ sister company, Eurolines, to Dublin and Belfast and these are popular with Digbeth’s thriving Irish community amongst others, with approximately ten thousand passenger journeys taken a year.
In numbers, at a glance:
- Approximately 2 million journeys made every year
- A 24/7, 365 day operation
- 158 daily departures to destinations across the UK and Ireland day including 32 to London’s Victoria Coach Station
- At peak times, coaches run every half hour to London and services operate between 2am – 9pm
- 10,000 passenger journeys to Dublin and Belfast a year
- A £15 million station accredited to BREEAM Excellent environmental standards
Birmingham: Top 5 destinations
As well being the headquarters of one of the UK’s most recognisable brands in the heart of Birmingham, the Mill Lane-based coach station is firmly at the heart of the local community.
The National Express Foundation, a charitable initiative set up to help disadvantaged young people across the West Midlands, South Essex and East London, is run from the station. To date, the Foundation has donated thousands of pounds to assist young people into higher education and helped hundreds more benefit from new activities, equipment and training at community groups across the region.
Additionally, major initiatives, including National Express being selected as the first company in the UK to sign a new government commitment to support the Armed Forces – the Corporate Covenant, have been launched in Birmingham with local drivers.
At a grassroots level, the company supports local causes, including homeless charity Sifa Fireside and events including Birmingham Pride. A number of apprentices, supported by Coventry City College, have also recently started work at the coach station as part of the National Express ‘Youth Promise’, an industry-leading commitment to support young people.