Unprecedented demand for NatEx
National Express is reporting unprecedented demand for travel over the period of national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Online enquiries for travel on London routes increased by 40% following Thursday’s announcement and the majority of seats across all London services have been sold in the four days between 9 to 12 September. A normal timetable will operate but the transport operator is increasing capacity on London services across its scheduled UK coach network to help mourners travel to the capital to attend ceremonial and commemorative events, including the state funeral on Monday 19 September.
“We are operating a pop-up coach station at Wembley on the day of the state funeral when there will be major road closures and London Victoria Coach Station will be out of use” – Tom Stables, CEO of National Express UK
Tom Stables, CEO of National Express UK, said: “A huge number of people want to pay their condolences in person and we are working hard to meet the additional demand for travel so they can safely get where they need to be.
“We are operating a pop-up coach station at Wembley on the day of the state funeral when there will be major road closures and London Victoria Coach Station will be out of use. We will have a team in place to help customers and are expecting to run around 540 coaches through the temporary location in less than 24 hours.
“Our private hire business is also playing its part in supporting Metropolitan Police operations during the period of national mourning by providing transport for over one thousand officers to get to and around the Capital each day to manage the events and crowds.”
All transport operators in London are busier than normal and are issuing general advice for travellers to plan ahead and allow ample time for their journey.
National Express customers who no longer wish to travel from over the period are being offered a free amendment to change their plans.
Tom added: “We appreciate that travel requirements will be different for everyone over the next week and are listening to our customers and people. For example, in contrast to our UK coach network, we will be operating a Sunday timetable for our local bus services in the West Midlands when we expect to see less passengers and want to allow our teams to watch the funeral if they choose to do so.”