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UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

Manchester, England
Level Contributor
12 posts
92 reviews
UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

Just returned from a weekend in Bristol. Travelled there and back from Manchester on a direct National Express coach. First time using it in 20+ years!

I work on the UK railways and usually take the train everywhere but took the coach for the cost (£20 round trip as opposed to £60 for cheapest train fare). Have to confess I was dreading the journey!

What a surprise! Nice new bus station at Manchester and Birmingham. Coach on time (to the minute!). Not busy, had two seats to myself on a Friday and Sunday when trains would be packed out, and leather seats and on board toilet.

Yeah it's not as quick as the train, but for price it can't be beaten and the comfy leather seats are great. I've changed my opinions of UK coach travel, just now need to convince my friends!

83 replies to this topic
Kingston, Canada
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel
Level Contributor
3,689 posts
106 reviews
1. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

I agree. I've taken coaches (as well as trains) around the UK and never had a huge problem. I highly recommend National Express as well as Megabus coaches if budget is a priority. There have been times the advance fares on the train have been cheaper though, and given the option of the two I usually prefer to go via train.


Level Contributor
13,762 posts
41 reviews
2. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

National Express has recently invested heavily in new coaches; 220 have entered service in the last 12 months, and almost half the fleet on regular service is less than 2 years old. It is now very rare that a National Express passenger will travel on a coach that is more then seven years old.

National Express has also embraced GPS technology in a big way. This enables controllers to know exactly where a vehicle is, and to better manage recovery from traffic delays and incidents. This filters down into better information for passengers (and those waiting for them!), including the recently-launched 'Coach Tracker' which not only allows coaches to be tracked in real time, but also to check for earlier and later departures should plans change.

Most services are actually contracted out to private operators, or 'partner operators', using coaches to National Express specification; NX retains operational control. Only 20% of services are operated directly by National Express. Good working relationships mean that NX is able to adjust services at short notice to meet changing demand; hire in extra capacity at busy times; and to provide special direct services to events such as football at Wembley, or music festivals.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
563 posts
48 reviews
3. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

i am starting to use coaches more as getting a good deal on the trains from cornwall to london is getting harder and harder and when you do its unsociable hour trains

got some really good deals and good departure times with national express recently , return fair was less than a single from cornwall to london

Birmingham, United...
4 posts
4. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

Hi everybody travelled to Manchester on national express early morning with three companions on our way to Barbados , for two hours there was no heating on the coach very cold considering the month was jan 2012 very poor sevice made numerous complains to no avail not even a phone call back from customer service. Just arrived back from Cuba in oct which was fantastic needless to say booked a coach from manchester airport the driver could talk a hind leg of a donkey but yes the heating on the coach didn't work two more hours of hypothermia ,is this a normal problem with national express please advise .I personally will never travel with this st trinians coach sevice again but if you do take hot water bottle sleeping bag extra socks

Level Contributor
13,762 posts
41 reviews
5. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

It's unusual for there not to be heating on a National Express coach. (or air conditioning in summer).

However the driver probably had to make a choice between carrying on, or kicking everyone off to wait for a replacement vehicle and thereby delaying your journey.

Edited: 12:45 pm, November 11, 2012
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
563 posts
48 reviews
6. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

just bagged a bargain trip from Cornwall to Heathrow return for £38.56 for next february

theres a 20% discount code that can be used BRISTOLUNI , enter this in the promotion/coupon box and its takes it off the fare

7. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

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Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
2 posts
14 reviews
8. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

London to Liverpool Journey: Memorable Experience :

Me and my family travelled from London to Liverpool on 12th December afternoon. The journey was smooth,starting with excellent customer service at Victoria coach station where the gentleman bus driver took the luggage from us and placed in the luggage compartment of the bus. Then he proceeded to give passengers a briefing on the journey and courteously asked everyone to buckle up. The driving was very smooth, not even once did we feel any sudden breaking or fast switching between lines. The journey took a little more than 5 hrs due to the heavy traffice. Somewhere in between the driver changed and the new driver was also very efficient and smooth in driving.

Once we alighted at Liverpool, we realized that our daughter has left her sling bag with her passport, cash, ATM cards etc in the bus. By then the bus had already left the stattion for southport. We immediately spoke to Ms. Janatte, the supervisor at the station and she acted without wasting a moment and paged the driver about the situation. We had a ferry to catch to Belfast within a couple of hours and any dealy would have caused a lot of difficulty and loss of money. The driver of the bus was so kind to come back to Liverpool station and give us back the bag. This was an amazing act of kindness and honesty as the my daughter had almost 700 sterlingpounds in her bag. Thnaks a lot to Ms. Janatte, Ms. Lindsay and the kind bus driver. Greatly appreciate your help and kindness. We made in time for the ferry and everything was good.

Brandon, England...
Level Contributor
1 post
6 reviews
9. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

Megabus are now quicker and cheaper with better customer care from the drivers only downside is they don't cover as many destinations as the once good national express do I recommend advance booked train if possible for speed and remember Ryan Air have better customer service than national express do as they always blame other departments

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,740 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: UK Bus and Coach Travel - National Express

Hi !!! Used them years ago and they had a gr8

deal for frequent users --you paid a 10 pound up

front fee then from memory a 25% cut from all fares

over a month---it was 1986 so bit scratchy on details

but that was roughly it and my 1st trip London to Bristol

i think 10 pound and I paid 7.50 pound

Think it was for overseas visitors

Does it still happen

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