National Express announces soaring demand on unrivalled Christmas network
National Express is announcing demand for travel on its unrivalled Christmas coach network is soaring on routes hit by rail disruption.
The UK’s largest coach operator has seen year-on-year advance bookings increase by up to a third in areas affected by rail engineering works over the Christmas period.
Coach bookings from locations on the First Great Western Line - linking Cardiff and London - have increased by 33 per cent year-on-year during engineering works that are set to disrupt train services (Thursday, December 24 - Sunday, January 3).
Meanwhile bookings from locations on the South West train line - linking Bournemouth and London - have also increased by a third year-on-year while the trains are disrupted by engineering works (from Sunday, December 27 to Friday, January 1).
National Express is planning to run more coaches than ever before this Christmas - including on Christmas Day when no trains are running – so that as many passengers who still want to travel, can.
While large parts of the rail network are impacted by engineering works throughout December and right into New Year, National Express is providing festive travellers, including those to the major airports, with a direct solution.
The UK’s largest coach operator has the festive season all wrapped up ensuring people can travel right through December - even on Christmas Day when the rail network traditionally shuts shop.
It is delivering its biggest Christmas yet by more than doubling the number of Christmas Day coaches connecting towns, cities and the major airports, right across the UK.
For the first time ever on December 25 National Express will be serving Stansted Airport, as well as Heathrow and Gatwick, in addition to an extra 19 towns and cities from Edinburgh to right down to Portsmouth.
And, on Boxing Day when trains are traditionally still out-of-action, National Express is running a near-normal service.
News will likely be particularly welcomed by festive travellers who would be impacted by widespread disruption scheduled on large parts of the rail network this Christmas (see notes to editors for full details) - and of course people who simply love a great deal.
Scheduled works on Great Western, South Coast, Abellio Greater Anglia, Heathrow and Gatwick Express lines will lead to considerably extended journey times, multiple changes and reduced frequency services for many rail travellers. Those choosing National Express coach however can go direct, often quicker than the train and unlike train travellers, relax in the knowledge of a guaranteed seat.
Customers are already giving National Express the vote of confidence with their wallets – a flurry of advanced festive bookings has seen passenger numbers snowball, with advanced bookings for Christmas Day already up by 180 per cent and bookings for December as a whole up ten per cent. And, as a result of the early demand, the UK’s largest coach operator is already committing to add thousands of extra seats as required in the coming weeks to cater to demand.
It’s a wrap - in brief:
- More that doubling the number of Christmas Day departures = thousands of extra seats on offer
- 19 extra locations served on Christmas Day including Derby, Chesterfield, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Edinburgh, Norwich, Thetford, Cambridge, Newmarket, Maidstone, Gillingham, Canterbury, Gillingham, Portsmouth, Folkestone, Maidstone, Fareham, Basingstoke and Stansted
- Advanced Christmas Day bookings have rocketed 180 per cent year-on-year while bookings for December as a whole are up ten percent year on year, with tens of thousands already all set to travel
- National Express ready to add extra seats as needed to cater to demand
- Daily direct coach services where some rail travellers face multiple changes, disruption and delay
- Coach bookings from locations on the First Great Western Line - linking Cardiff and London - have increased by 33 per cent year-on-year during engineering works that are set to disrupt train services (Thursday, December 24 - Sunday, January 3)
- Bookings from locations on the South West train line - linking Bournemouth and London - have also increased by a third year-on-year while the trains are disrupted by engineering works (from Sunday, December 27 to Friday, January 1)
Saves of Christmas:
- Hundreds of thousands of low December fares available from £7
- For the best deals check out National Express’ dedicated low-fare finder online at www.nationalexpress.com
- Free travel for kids – A Family Coachcard allows a child to travel for free with a paying adult
- Young Persons, Senior and Disabled Coachcards priced at just £10, all offer a third off standard fares
For more information or to book visit www.nationalexpress.com.
Notes to editors:
Rail disruption summary
Gatwick Express is affected from December 26 to January 3, with some passengers facing almost an hour and a half added to journey times and up to three changes. Routes between Gatwick, London, Heathrow and Brighton will be impacted.
Heathrow Express trains will not be running from the evening of December 24 to December 28.
Great Western Railway affected from December 24 to January 3, with some passengers facing a reduced service, longer journey times of up to an hour and ten minutes and up to three changes. Areas affected include Cardiff, Bath, Exeter, Swansea and Reading to London and Heathrow.
South Coast Railway affected from December 27 to January 1, with some passengers facing up to an extra 50 minutes on top of their journey and up to three changes. Areas affected include routes from Bournemouth, Poole and Southampton to London, Heathrow and Gatwick.
Services operated by Abellio Greater Anglia are affected from December 27 to January 3. Services between London Liverpool Street and Ingatestone will be affected, impacting on departures from Ipswich, Colchester and Norwich to London, Heathrow and Gatwick. Passengers will face up to three changes and delays of up to an hour.