IT is the pioneering transport scheme setting the wheels in motion to secure Southampton as a leading hub for coach travel.
Passengers in the city are the first to benefit from an innovative scheme launching today offering cheaper coach travel.
Britain’s largest coach operator National Express has chosen Southampton as the pilot city for its groundbreaking new scheme enabling concessionary bus pass holders a 20 per cent discount on their fares.
The deal is the next step in the My Journey initiative, a joint scheme between Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council to boost public transport in the area.
Tough times ahead due to austerity, says National Express
National Express blamed Government austerity as it warned of tough times further down the road in a trading update that sent shares stalling by more than 12 per cent.
Next year will be ‘challenging’, with rising fuel costs, declining economies and state cutbacks in the UK ‘likely to constrain progress,’ the coach and rail group warned.
NatEx said it would lose £15million in revenue due to the government cutting a coach subsidy programme, and said that rising fuel prices would add £11million to its bills.
• Smartcard technology can now record concessionary journeys on all Stagecoach buses outside London
• More than 200million concessionary journeys a year made using smartcards on Stagecoach vehicles
Stagecoach announced today (Tuesday 22 May) that it has become the first major bus operator in the country to accept smartcards for concessionary journeys on every one of its vehicles outside London.
The technology now covers the Perth-based group’s 19 regional bus companies in Scotland, England and Wales.
It means passengers with National Concessionary Travel Scheme smartcards now simply need to place their card on the ticket machine when they board the bus and their journey will be recorded electronically.
Stagecoach was the first major UK bus operator to complete the installation of Government-standard ITSO smartcard ticket machines on its entire UK bus fleet outside London. The company was also the first to accept national concessionary travel smartcards across its entire bus fleet in both Scotland and Wales and has spent the past year introducing the technology at each of its businesses across England.
More than 200million concessionary smartcard transactions are now made on Stagecoach bus services across the UK each year.
Read press release
The Government’s decision to axe the right of pensioners to discounted, long-distance coach travel is costing National Express £15 million this year.
The Coalition cut the Coach Concessionary Travel Scheme, which paid for half-price, long-distance travel, in November.
Coach giant National Express said that it had launched its own Senior Coachcard, giving a third off fares for £10 a year, but sales had been “slower than expected”.
Without their half-price discount, seniors’ spending on National Express coaches is down by 40%, or £2.8 million, year-on-year.
Leading UK based coach and minibus hire provider, Coach Broker, have just announced plans to introduce extra disabled and wheelchair access minibuses and coaches to their fleet throughout 2012.
Coach Broker offers transport hire services throughout the UK and the coach hire provider is extremely committed to the provision of transportation with facilities to allow disabled passengers and those with mobility difficulties, easy access to their coaches and minibuses.
Recent government statistics estimate that as many as 10.8 million people in the UK, which works out as almost 20% of the country’s population, are disabled. With such a high percentage of the population struggling with mobility issues, Coach Broker decided to enhance its fleet of wheelchair access coaches and minibuses to ensure these individuals have access to a convenient and extremely usable transport solution.
Read more in Coach Broker News
A coach hire company has launched a brand new sightseeing tour as part of its new schedule for 2012 which includes a coach trip around the London Orbital. Surprisingly, there’s been so much interest in the planned tour, that the coach operator has added a second date due to popular demand.
Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company came up with the idea of introducing this unusual sightseeing tour and are currently selling tickets for the experience at £15 per person. One complete lap of the London orbital is 117 miles long taking 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete at an average speed of 70mph.
Read more in CoachBroker News
National Express is releasing 1million cheap seats for £9 or less this Friday, 6th January for travel throughout the UK.
Offer available to book between 6 – 31 January 2012 for travel between 6 January – 25 March 2012. Please note that there will be limited availability between 11 – 19 February 2012.
The price includes the booking fee and is only available to book online.
Offer not valid in conjunction with any other discount including discount Coachcards, or any other promotion.
Offer not valid on National Express airport, event or third party operated services.
Please note tickets are non refundable and non amendable.
All tickets are issued and all customers are carried subject to National Express’ General Conditions of Carriage, available online and at all National Express outlets.
Click here for National Express cheap seats for £9 or less