Adapting to the new normal: How National Express became Covid-safe

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound effect across the industry. Jonathan Welch spoke to National Express about how the company has handled the outbreak and disruption to its services

Long distance and airport coach services have been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with all operators’ journeys across England and Wales and to/from Scotland being completely suspended for a while, whilst those within Scotland continued at a reduced level.
For many people, the mention of long distance coach travel brings to mind one name: National Express. It has been an icon of highways and motorways across the UK for decades. We spoke to Service Delivery Director Ed Rickard to find out how the operator had handled the crisis as it unfolded and put in place a plan to safeguard its business and allow a phased return of services.

The wheels of the National Express network came to a stop on 5 April when the last coach arrived in Birmingham from London at 2355hrs. “The decision to suspend our services was incredibly difficult,” Ed began. “Apart from on Christmas Day, the network hasn’t stopped running since it came into existence. It was almost a bit eerie with nothing going on, but there was actually still a lot of work behind the scenes.”

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