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Why not catch a coach at Christmas?

With the traditional nationwide rail shutdown on Christmas and Boxing Day and significant engineering works on a number of routes it can be difficult for people to travel over the festive period.

Plenty of notice and good information helps passengers make alternative travel plans when their train journeys are impacted by engineering works. Train operators try to alert passengers about planned disruption, and the impact it will have on them. But what alternatives are there for passengers who need to get to and from work or wish to visit family and friends during the holiday period?

Coach operators are increasingly looking to fill this gap. National Express has announced it is running a full timetable of services over the Christmas period including Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. It will run a reduced, albeit its biggest ever, timetable of services on Christmas Day itself.

That means people can still travel to 81 locations on Christmas day with 450 services running to all the major towns, cities and airports, so those jetting off to see friends and family over the festive period can still connect directly to the terminal.

And demand for festive travel is strong – National Express tells us that on Christmas day last year it moved nearly 13,000 people while advance bookings figures for this year show more than 30 per cent more keen to travel on Christmas day.

Of course National Express is not the only coach operator. Megabus is also running services over the Christmas period, including Christmas day and Boxing Day. Oxford Bus Company is also running services to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports on 25 and 26 December and a London service on Boxing Day.

To see what other coach services are running you can check the journey planner on operators’ websites. Look out for special offers on websites as well.

Modern coach travel has come on an awful long way: newer vehicles, toilets, reclining seats, Wi-Fi and even onboard entertainment often come as standard. You also have the benefit of a guaranteed seat.

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