National Express services returning 1 July
National Express is to restart services on its national network of intercity routes at a reduced frequency on 1 July. It says significant new measures will be put in place it believes will allow customers to travel in confidence. Its coaches will be limited to 50% of maximum capacity.
The restart follows a three-month suspension of all National Express scheduled services in response to the lockdown.
Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach, said: “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.”
COVID-19 secure measures to be put in place include:
- Enhanced cleaning regimes in line with Government and industry recommendations will be in place in stations and on coaches, including regular aerosol based disinfection with a high performance antiviral solution – sometimes called ‘fogging’.
- An additional filter using three types of technology, including UVC radiation to reduce bacteria and corona-type viruses, and a PM2.5 filter to improve air quality; has been installed on the air conditioning systems of all coaches.
- Social distancing in coach stations and on vehicles with the maximum capacity of all coaches limited to 50%. 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.
- Temperature screening of customers before allowing travel. Anyone with a high temperature reading will not be allowed to travel and given a full refund.
- Protective screens on vehicles and in coach stations along with gloves, masks and visors and a supply of hand sanitiser for all drivers and customer service teams, backed up with COVID-19 training.
- A requirement for customers to provide and wear face coverings, preferably a face mask, when in coach stations and travelling on vehicles, in line with Government guidelines.
National Express is also advertising its UK coach holiday packages, which are set for August, September and October this year. Lucketts Travel, Stewarts Tours and Woods Tours were listed as the operators providing these services.