NatEx sees ‘huge surge’ on Trans Pennine network
National Express has announced what it describes as a huge surge in passengers travelling on its Trans Pennine coach network. The rise in patronage follows a boost to the number of services on the network in May this year.
In the last four months, the operator has seen a 49% increase in passengers using its services linking Leeds, Manchester, Manchester Airport and Liverpool (comparing passenger numbers between May and August 2023 to figures between January and April 2023). Between January and August 2023 passenger numbers are up 69%, compared to the same period in 2022.
On 5 May 2023, National Express increased the number of services between Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool from eight to 13 a day to meet demand. The company also invested in increasing its fleet, adding three new vehicles to serve these routes.
Earlier this year, the company also announced an uplift in coach services between Manchester and London, with up to 17 services a day offering customers an affordable, reliable and greener way to travel to the capital.
In 2022 over 16 million people used the National Express coach network, up from over 10 million from 2021. The rail strikes and soaring costs for motorists are all believed to be contributing factors in the increase in passengers, with 12% of rail users reported switching to coach travel for better value and reliability of service.
“2023 has been hugely busy across our Trans Pennine services so far and customers are switching to our coaches because it’s reliable, great value and you’re guaranteed a seat” – John Boughton, Commercial Director for National Express
John Boughton, Commercial Director for National Express, said: “We’ve all seen the challenges that rail in the north west is having. People deserve a reliable and affordable public transport system so we are stepping up to meet demand. 2023 has been hugely busy across our Trans Pennine services so far and customers are switching to our coaches because it’s reliable, great value and you’re guaranteed a seat.
“With significant investment in our new and enhanced services, we are making it even easier for our customers to enjoy a relaxing, comfortable journey with us and we look forward to welcoming even more customers onboard.”
National Express, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, currently operates over 550 services across the country.