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Nat Ex to start on-demand bus service

By The Whisperer

With many years in the coach and bus industry, The Whisperer keeps his ear to the ground for all the latest tit-bits and gossip. Tell him what’s going on in your part of the world: e-mail him via

Reporting improved revenues, profits and dividends, National Express Group (NEG) says that it is poised to launch an “on-demand bus service in the West Midlands.”

Announcing its half-year results, NEG says its UK bus and coach businesses accelerated their growth trends from the last quarter of 2017, with passenger growth “amongst the strongest seen in years.”

 In the period, core coach passengers increased 6% and West Midlands bus like-for-like commercial passengers grew by 1.3%.

This helped boost core coach revenue by 5.2% and UK bus commercial revenue by 0.8%.

Reported revenue growth is relatively subdued, however, because of last year’s exit from Eurolines and Hoppa (a hotel shuttle business).

Reported profit has been boosted by property disposals of £3.4m million, with underlying profit up by 8.5% and operating margin increasing by 70 basis points.

It also says that a “quiet revolution is underway” as 50% of its UK bus journeys are now made using digital, smartcard or contactless payments methods. NEG expects this to reach 70% by the end of the year.

Results at