National Express patronage increasing

Despite the impacts of the pandemic, National Express’ recent trading update said the company is trading ‘slightly above’ its expectations.

National Express reports it is pleased with passenger growth in its bus businesses in recent weeks. In the West Midlands it is running 103% of last year’s service and carrying 58% of the patronage. In Dundee, it is operating 92% of last year’s service and carrying 61% of the patronage. In both businesses, costs are under-written by their respective national transport authority.

The company has added further coach services where social distancing restrictions still enable a commercial expansion in the network. The trading statement said: “We have been encouraged to see continued high demand for those services we are running.”

Chris Davies, Interim Group Chief Executive and Group Finance Director, said: “We continue to be pleased that our strong customer relationships are sustaining high levels of revenue during the pandemic’s on-going uncertainty. We are grateful to our customers and the public authorities who have recognised the essential role our services play in maintaining the ability of people to get to work and to keep the economy functioning, even during such challenging times.

“We remain resolutely optimistic about the longer term opportunities for the Group. The enduring strength of our customer and stakeholder relationships during the pandemic demonstrate that our reputation for safe and excellent service has provided a crucial resilience as we navigate this uncertain period. In addition – as the recent contract wins in Lisbon and California demonstrate – they also provide the platform for future growth once we emerge from the pandemic.”

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