National Express (NX) has seen strong initial demand for its limited timetable of scheduled coach services since a restart on 29 March. It says that around 70% of available seats were sold during the first week of reintroduced services, a figure that grew to 80% over the Easter weekend.
It believes that those returns demonstrate strong public confidence in domestic travel as a further loosening of restrictions approaches. That keenness was further demonstrated after Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday 5 April that England will move to step two of his roadmap on 12 April. Searches on NX’s website compared to the previous day grew by 24% after the Prime Minister’s announcement.
Adds John Broughton, Commercial Director of National Express UK Coach: “Our first week back on the road has been encouraging. We will be adding new routes, including to Yorkshire, Nottingham and Blackpool, and increasing the frequency of some services from mid-April to meet the growing demand that we are seeing in line with the next easing of restrictions.”
Mr Broughton adds that uncertainty around foreign travel is working in coaches’ favour. NX is seeing “particularly strong interest” in its services to coastal resorts.
NX remains set to put a new UK-wide timetable on sale later in April. Schedules have been redesigned to offer improved journey times, better punctuality and enhanced connectivity. The operator is currently running the equivalent of around 15% of its standard network.