National Express says it had a record-setting Christmas, “breaking new ground for the highest ever number of passengers ever carried in a single day.” It has not released figures, but says 27 December was “a record for the highest number of people travelling on a single day,” with 75,000 tickets sold. On December 26 and 27, it took over £1m revenue each day.
It says that improved timetables, new Christmas Day locations and duplicated services totalling tens of thousands of extra seats helped to deliver its strongest Christmas to date.
A total of 60,000 extra coach seats over the festive season and 11 entirely new towns and cities served on Christmas Day ensured those who wanted to travel could, with the enhanced network coming at the same time many would-be rail travellers faced over two hundred rail projects and major station closures – as well as the annual Christmas shutdown.
Tuesday, December 27 saw the highest ever number of people travelling by coach on a single day with 75,000 tickets sold, while both Monday, December 26 and Tuesday, December 27 saw National Express take over £1 million in revenue.
Passenger numbers during Christmas week (Saturday, December 17, to Saturday, December 31) shot up 18% year-on-year – with some routes growing by over 50% – while airport services performed particularly strongly, with numbers rising 22% in the same period.
The most popular journeys over Christmas were inter-airport services, long-distance routes to London and the 060 between Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.
Numbers of people travelling on Christmas Day itself also broke new ground – up by 167% since National Express reintroduced December 25 services in 2013 after a long hiatus.
A total of 76 stops in 64 different towns, cities and airports were served with passengers on many services being able to enjoy, for the first time, VUER, the company’s newly-launched onboard entertainment system.
National Express Managing Director Chris Hardy said: “Christmas 2016 has been absolutely outstanding and December 27 saw us carry the highest ever number of passengers in a single day.
“Time was when people couldn’t travel on Christmas Day – we’ve changed that with our unrivalled national network of services and our relentless focus on delivering a first class experience for our customers, including the recent launch of our onboard entertainment system VUER, has ensured more people travelling with us than ever before.
“People need to get to where they want to go 365 days a year, including on Christmas Day, and so we’re pleased to have played our part in getting more people together.
“We are already in the process of planning for this year.”