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National Express celebrates 40 years of service to the British public

National Express celebrates 40 years of service to the British public

National Express is celebrating its 40th birthday this autumn – marking four decades since Britain’s first ‘national’ coach timetable was published in 1972. The guide made coach travel across Britain easily accessible to the public for the first time.

To celebrate the landmark birthday National Express has released promotional footage and photos from the 70’s showing classic seaside days out and on board snacks served by hostesses.

The UK’s largest coach company launched four decades ago with around 300 vehicles carrying 13 million passengers annually. The most popular destinations were London, Bournemouth and Blackpool but half the services operated at weekends only and a further quarter were seasonal.

National Express has clocked up over two billion miles on Britain’s roads since 1972 and the nation still loves a good coach trip – with five million more passenger journeys now taking place annually.
Andrew Cleaves, Managing Director of National Express coach, said: “We’re proud to have carried millions of Britons on day trips, holidays and visit to friends and family during our forty year journey.

“The way Britain travels has changed dramatically in this time. In 1972 half of our services were seasonal as people took holidays at distinct times, such as factory fortnight. Today a third of the network runs to airports and over half our tickets are sold online.”


To help celebrate forty years of coach travel National Express is appealing for the nations’ memories and stories of coach travel since 1972. Stories can be shared at with the best tales will receive a year’s free coach travel.