Newest Review: ... the driver to let me on as I did not have enough cash to buy a new ticket and I was unable to call National Express to buy a new ticket... more
Member Name: andyneil
Date: 13/11/00, updated on 13/11/00 (48 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, relativly safe
Disadvantages: slow, late, some bad staff
I can only assume that the Express in National Express is there purely for ironic purposes. I have never in my life used such a routinely slow, late erratic service as this. As a poor student in Hull who had to travel home to the South I often used the National Express service as it was the cheapest way available. However given any sort of choice I would not do so again. Admittedly the journey is not short, but it takes a whole day which is plainly ridiculous. I have also travelled other routes which detour wildly out of any natural route to take in as many other places as possible. This may be what makes it viable, but it is also what makes it a pain in the arse. I'm 6'2 and have no desire to be crammed in a tiny space for hours on end. More leg room is a must, the coaches are rarely full, so less seats and more space per coach is hardly asking too much.
National Express does do a through job, it covers the country and provides affordable, bearable travel. Also generally all the staff I have encountered, especiall the hostesses, have been polite and helpful. One driver however was perhaps the rudest, least helpful man I have ever met. In theory National Express will sell you a ticket on the coach itself as long as the seats are not booked. I arrived for a 6:41am coach to London from my girlfriends. Her family had arisen early and given me a lift so I could get home. The coach arrived (only 10 minutes late) and passangers with tickets boarded. I then asked the driver if there was space, he said he was less than a quarter full. He would not sell me a ticket, he would not say why, he would not even smile or say sorry. He drove off, I was left stranded (until 8:10 when the next driver sold me a ticket). This incident is, I fear, not isolated, things just seem to happen to make the service less than desirable. Yes its cheap, yes mostly the staff are wonderful but its late, claustrophobic, too long and the bad experiences invariably cr
op up. Only use it if really desperate.