National Express reveals busiest holiday travel days
National Express is today revealing the most popular holiday travel days as it gets in gear to do the driving home this Christmas.
Advanced bookings figures reveal Wednesday, 23 December is the busiest travel day for the UK's largest coach operator, which is running its most extensive Christmas network ever – including on Christmas Day when no trains are running.
To celebrate the bumper travel day, which will see it deliver tens of thousands of journeys, National Express is also revealing a list of the top ten times it delivered even more than expected.
- A baby In August this year National Express staff and TfL staff joined forces to help with the unexpected delivery of a baby girl at Victoria Coach Station. The name of the baby who celebrates her first Christmas this year? Victoria of course...
- Blushing bride Rebecca Harvey made National Express history in 2013 when she became the first bride to forgo the traditional horse and carriage and turn up to the church in a 40ft coach
- An eight-legged customer A driver on a Coventry to Inverness service got more than he bargained for in 2012 when a live crab was discovered on board. After taking expert advice a special coach was laid on for the eight legged passenger and the driver deposited it in the sea by Blackpool pier
- Welsh drivers Brent Humphries and Gerwyn Roberts were honoured drivers of the year 2014 after performing CPR on a poorly passenger
- Kittens Over the years several litters of kittens have been discovered born on coaches - perhaps the mummy cats enjoy our leather seats?
- Cats A Bristol driver delivered more than just paying passengers in 2013 when he discovered a cat had hitched a lift, travelling 100 miles stowed in the fuel tank. Subsequently named Diesel, this kitty used up one of her nine lives. A ginger stray caught riding the coach in Cardiff was also adopted by one of the customer advisors
- National Express customer services truly went above and beyond to return a suitcase belonging to a Kent schoolgirl which was located 12,000 miles away in Hong Kong after being mistakenly taken by another passenger. Case solved!
- True love National Express played cupid when Kent couple Kate and Royden Greaves met on a coach and subsequently married
- A small furry mouse-like creature native to Chile called a degu was found on a coach in Leeds and subsequently adopted by the station manager
- Bridesmaids A trio of bridesmaids from Ipswich were mortified to discover they had left their dresses on a coach to Brighton – the day before the wedding. Thanks to the efforts of National Express staff everybody got to the church on time – and fully dressed!
Tens of thousands of coach trips have already been booked on 23rd December, as thousands choose to let National Express do the driving home for Christmas.
In particular, journeys made to airports are sky rocketing year-on-year. For example, passenger journeys to Gatwick Airport are up almost 20 per cent year-on-year over Christmas compared to 2014 as thousands jet off for winter sun – or snow – in foreign climes.
At a glance:
- Wednesday, 23 December is the most popular day to travel, now followed closely by Sunday, 27 December
- More than 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 delays
- Hundreds of thousands of low December fares available from £7
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 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.