Rail strikes spark surge in demand for coach travel
The UK’s largest coach operator is coming to the rescue of travellers left stranded by the upcoming 27 days of strike action by RMT members on South Western Railway services.
National Express has increased the capacity on routes between London and destinations in the south including Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Southampton; that will face significant rail disruption as train drivers and guards prepare to halt work throughout December.
John Boughton, commercial director for National Express UK Coach, comments: “We’ve had lots of practice of picking up the pieces when rail lets people down. With our national network, we already have the services in place so it’s just a matter of increasing capacity.
“We’ve already seen an overall 44% increase in demand on affected routes with this hitting more than 80% in the weeks closer to Christmas; and with December being such a busy time of year for travel, only expect this to continue.
Bookings with National Express have increased on all affected routes when compared to last year:
- Bournemouth - London +44%
- Southampton - London +32%
- Portsmouth - London +26%
- Poole - London +61%
- Fareham - London +38%
- Winchester - London +219%
John Boughton added: “This is a major disruption for travellers at a very important time of year. We have everything in place to help get people to where they want to be but do encourage customers to book ahead to guarantee their seat and take advantage of great value advance fares."
National Express customers benefit from a guaranteed seat (no standing), air conditioning, access to films, TV and magazines through a complimentary onboard entertainment app, as well as power sockets and free WiFi.
For more information or to book travel visit www.nationalexpress.com.