National Express gears up for Bank Holiday rail disruption
National Express is adding thousands of extra seats to coach services this weekend as ongoing rail woes threaten the Bank Holiday getaway.
The UK’s largest coach operator is putting on an extra 4,000 seats over the Bank Holiday (25th-28th August). to services in areas where trains are affected by the closure of London Waterloo and Euston Stations.
The disruption which is affecting train services in the South West and on the West Coast mainline has caused demand for coach travel to increase by more than a third year-on-year over the weekend.
The ongoing partial closure of London Waterloo station is continuing to disrupt South West Trains services into the capital and Network Rail bosses are advising people not to travel this weekend.
And National Express has seen bookings increase by nearly 50 per cent on Bournemouth services and by nearly a third on Southampton services this weekend as rail passengers scramble for an alternative.
Meanwhile the planned closure of London Euston station over the Bank Holiday weekend is due to disrupt Virgin and London Midland train services on the West Coast mainline causing delays, less frequent services and multiple changes.
As a result National Express is seeing significant increases in bookings: Liverpool to London are up by nearly 60 per cent, Manchester to London are up by 36 per cent and Birmingham to London are up by nearly 30 per cent.
National Express is also seeing demand on coach services on the Great Western mainline rail route increasing by more than 40 per cent year-on-year over the weekend in some areas, as engineering works disrupt rail services from Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea into London.
Waterloo closure (5th-28th August): South West Trains services from areas including Bournemouth, Southampton and Portsmouth will be affected with the company advising people not to travel to London over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Euston Bank Holiday closure: The shut down will affect all West Coast mainline services including Virgin and London Midland trains serving areas including: Liverpool, Manchester, Wigan, Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Great Western Line: Electrification of the line near Swindon will disrupt services from Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Bristol over the Bank Holiday weekend causing coach bookings to rise by as much as 50 percent. National Express will be adding more than 1,000 seats as a result.
National Express is pledging to keep adding capacity to services so that as many people as possible can still travel by public transport during the disruption.
National Express Coach Managing Director Chris Hardy said: “We are expecting a very busy Bank Holiday weekend on our coach network and as the disruption to the railways continues to unfold, we pledge to keep adding capacity according to demand so as many people as possible can travel.”
National Express offers passengers a guaranteed seat, air conditioning, WIFI and onboard entertainment with its new system - VUER – offering hours of free TV, Film, news and magazine content during the journey.