City leaders hail extra coaches as a 'lifeline' for displaced rail passengers
National Express today, Friday, March 10, reveals it is laying on thousands of extra coach seats in April to support people impacted by scheduled rail disruption – in a move welcomed by city leaders.
The UK’s largest coach operator is beefing up its Bath to London coach services throughout the duration of the rail disruption (Sunday, April 8 – Monday, April 24), including on weekends and over the Bank Holiday when no trains will run, to ensure everyone who wants to travel, can.
The move, which will see thousands of extra coach seats available to people in Bath – as well as inbound travellers – will see National Express’ timetable increased from 14 to 16 daily direct London departures from Bath Bus Station.
It is hoped the extra capacity will help those impacted by the rail disruption – with train services to London reduced to one per hour on weekdays, and no trains running on weekends, including over the Bank Holiday.
National Express carry around 200,000 passengers a year to and from Bath Bus Station, with key arrival and departure locations including London, Heathrow Airport, Swindon, Oxford, Northampton, Salisbury, Southampton, Portsmouth and Plymouth.
The increased provision of affordable transport has been welcomed by city leaders.
City MP Ben Howlett MP said: “Coaches in and out of the city provide a lifeline for travellers in and around Bathand so it’s great to see National Express stepping up to add additional services to support those impacted by rail disruption. City travellers need to be assured they can still get around during the disruption and it’s vital for our tourist economy that in-bound tourists are still able to visit from the capital”.
Caroline Kay, Chief Executive of Bath Preservation Trust (which runs No 1. Royal Crescent and three other museums in Bath) said: “When the Royal Crescent was built 250 years ago we expected people arriving in Bath to come by coach! Times have changed, but we are delighted that there will be a good 21st century coach service this Easter to make it easy for visitor to come to Bath and visit our museums during the holiday period”.
David James, Chief Executive of VisitBath: “At VisitBath we work closely with all our travel partners to ensure that visitors make the most of the public transport options available when coming to the city. It is fantastic that we can work in this way to ensure that there is minimal disruption for visitors to the city, especially at such a busy time over the Easter weekend.”
National Express Managing Director Chris Hardy said: “It’s vital travellers - commuters, leisure travellers and those going about their daily lives are still able to get where they need to go. We are committed to keeping Bathmoving and look forward to welcoming thousands of extra passengers on board”.