National Express is adding 48,000 extra seats to support people impacted by the Severn Rail Tunnel closure. It has also introduced a bespoke new Cardiff to Bristol coach service for the duration of the disruption, which is expected to last until 21 October 2016. The new dedicated service runs 16 times a day between the two cities, with the first departing Cardiff at 05.15 and the final coach leaving at 20.30. A return fare costs £15.
The new service coincides with National Express’ ‘Not-so-magnificent Severn’ campaign, which saw Cardiff Central railway station transformed into the Wild West during the rush hour. Coinciding with the release of the Hollywood remake of ‘The Magnificent Seven’, the publicity stunt saw the company launch a mass ticket give away to support rail travellers affected by the tunnel closure. Throughout the day, 500 free and 5,000 half price tickets were handed out by National Express outside the train station. The disruption is expected to mean train travellers will face journey times of up to 45 minutes longer, diversions and replacement buses on some services. National Express says people travelling by coach on the other hand will benefit from regular direct services and a guaranteed seat. The western themed stunt follows another recent promotion, the ‘Not Such A Drag’ campaign in London.
MD, National Express UK Coach, Tom Stables, said, ‘We believe travel should be hassle free and that’s why we’re offering hundreds of free and thousands of discounted seats to support people in south Wales. Additionally, and to help passengers further, we will be launching a brand new service between Cardiff and Bristol for the duration of the tunnel closure. We offer a regular, reliable and punctual service with a guaranteed seat and we’re really looking forward to welcoming people on board.’