Coach operator National Express is getting ready to restart operations, with the network partially restarting from the 1st of July.
National Express as some of you will know is one of the major coach operators in the UK, connecting the country. Like a lot of companies, they suspended their services when COVID-19 took hold and the country went into lockdown. It seems that they’re happy to re-launch services.
Their new network map is shown below.
The new National Express network map – Image, National Express
The network is reduced compared to the pre-pandemic levels, with significant new measures in place to allow customers to travel in confidence.
So how is the coach operator planning to address this?
National Express is planning to introduce enhanced cleaning regimes on their coaches and stations – including regular aerosol-based disinfection with a high-performance antiviral solution. Onboard, they using UVC and PM2.5 filers onboard.
Coaches themselves will only be holding 50% capacity compared to normal to enable “social distancing”. Passengers will be asked to fill vehicles from the back and empty from the front and only sit in window seats with aisle seats blocked off. Coaches and help points will have protective screens installed for staff, with a supply of gloves, masks and visors and supply of hand sanitiser for all drivers and customer service teams.
Passengers will be screened for temperature before travel. Anyone with a high-temperature reading (over 38) will not be allowed to travel and given a full refund.
And of course – a requirement to wear a face-covering (preferably a face mask) when travelling – both onboard and at coach stations. Remember, legislation has been introduced to manage this.
A full guide to what National Express is planning can be found at https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/coronavirus-safety.
Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach explains:
“We have always put safety as our number one priority and right now, this is more important than ever as we play our part in getting the country moving again. As restrictions begin to ease and people plan to start travelling once again, we are adapting how we operate to help keep everyone safe.”
“We also appreciate that people are unsure about committing to travel plans at the moment so have changed some of our terms and conditions to give reassurance when deciding whether to book.
“All customers who book direct with National Express will now be given the option to amend the date, time and journey origin and destination free of charge if their circumstances change.
“The new timetable will focus on major towns and cities, connecting over 180 locations across the UK and equivalent to around a quarter of the mileage of the pre-covid national intercity network. The network scope and frequency will be increased in response to demand.
“We’re working hard to be ready to safely welcome customers back onboard next month. We know there’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment but want to reassure customers old and new that we’ve been working hard and are ready when they’re ready.”
Restoring key connectivity
National Express delivers something important – connectivity, at a cost that can be lower than rail, completing an important part of the transport jigsaw that connects the United Kingdom. It provides connectivity in the hours when rail doesn’t offer an option or isn’t convenient.
With England seemingly ready to start moving again, National Express seems poised to assist in helping people move and connect.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.