NatEx patronage up 122% in student exodus

There has been a 122% increase in passengers travelling with National Express during the first four days of the student travel window (3 – 6 December) when compared to the same period for the previous week.

The operator has added extra vehicles to safely increase the number of seats available on routes that serve university locations during the ‘student exodus’.

John Boughton, commercial director for National Express Coach, said: “This does coincide with the lifting of restrictions but it is most noticeable for locations with large student populations such as Birmingham (+159%), Bristol (+173%), Leicester (+147%) and Nottingham (+166%). And bookings for the final days of the window also show an overall increase of around 160%.”

National Express is adding more capacity on its December services to meet a general growth in demand for coach travel. Traffic to its website has seen an increase with a noticeable trend in searches for journeys in December to and from London. Popular destinations include Bristol, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

John Boughton added: “As we move into regional tiers and people start planning for the Christmas Covid window, demand for travel in December is growing and where possible, we are increasing capacity in response.”

Unlike coach services, trains will not be running on Christmas Day and the combination of planned engineering works on the railways and limited capacity due to social distancing will put public transport under greater pressure than normal.

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