National Express forms new partnership with Oxford Tube

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“This agreement will extend the reach of our brand and attract new customers to our high quality, good value and flexible travel to and from the capital,” says Stagecoach in Oxfordshire MD

Express coach operator National Express has formed a new partnership with Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, the operator of the Oxford Tube coach service between Oxford and London.

National Express had formerly held the partnership with Oxford Bus Company’s X90 service, and before its renumbering, the Oxford CityLink 190 service.

Recent changes to the X90 service have led National Express to review that partnership.

The Oxford Tube fleet is operated by 25 Van Hool Astromega coaches. RICHARD SHARMAN
The Oxford Tube fleet is operated by 25 Van Hool Astromega coaches. RICHARD SHARMAN

A National Express spokesperson told CBW: “Our new partnership with Oxford Tube to sell tickets on their services between Oxford and London started on Thursday 15 August 2019.

“This will replace the sale of tickets for the X90 service, operated by Oxford Bus Company.

“The new partnership will provide a greater benefit to our customers with an increased frequency to every 10 minutes at peak times and a faster journey time to London.”
Commenting on the new partnership, Chris Coleman, Managing Director for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, told CBW: “Oxford Tube is one of Europe’s most frequent express coach services and a key part of regional connectivity with London.

“We operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with more than 130 daily departures. Our modern fleet of state-of-the-art coaches offers free 4G, WiFi, USB power sockets and extended legroom for more comfortable journeys.

“This agreement will extend the reach of our brand and attract new customers to our high quality, good value and flexible travel to and from the capital.”

In October last year Oxford Bus Company reviewed the X90 service, reducing the frequency to every 30 minutes and changing the timetable to remove some of the early morning and late night departures.

It had also formed a partnership with Snap in September 2018, who had been selling tickets for travel on the X90, until operations ‘paused’ in June this year.

The new partnership brings about an interesting situation where both Stagecoach-owned megabus.com and National Express are selling tickets for travel on the Oxford Tube, a search for tickets on the same departures on both companies websites led to National Express coming in at £1 (due to the booking fee) more expensive than booking direct with the Oxford Tube, whilst the search on megabus.com search revelled a price of £19 including the £1 booking fee, £4 more expensive than booking direct.

There is no booking fee when booking direct with the Oxford Tube.