National Express’ iconic white coaches were back on the road this week (from Wednesday 1st July) following an 86 day break.
The last coach arrived in Birmingham from London at 23:55 on 5th April before a three-month suspension of all National Express scheduled services in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
The UK’s largest coach operator will now resume services at a reduced frequency on its national network of intercity routes, with new covid secure measures in place to allow customers to travel in confidence.
Covid secure measures 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 (over 38o) 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.
The first service will depart from Poole at 05:05 on Wednesday 1 July to arrive at London’s Victoria coach station at 08:50. 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.
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