National Express : Cambridge to Norwich

And, that’s the end of my little adventure in Cambridge. The National Express pick-up is clearly signed at the edge of Parker’s Piece and there’s a covered bus stop there.

Another packed service….. I think there were five people on board, including the driver. Unlike the coach on the way to Cambridge, there was no hand sanitiser on this coach, it looks like it has got knocked off the panel where it was behind the driver’s seat. There were also no announcements to passengers, although I joined mid-journey, so perhaps they’d already done it. My wrist wasn’t checked on entry this time, instead my forehead was measured for temperature. I still have no idea if that actually works, but I’m happy with it if the driver is.

It’s not quite as exciting as getting the exit row on an aircraft.

This is the television screen at the front of the coach, which I quite enjoy watching. Even when I could just look out of the front window, I still find myself watching the screen. Anyway, the driver was more than competent and the journey was trouble-free. The power worked, the toilet was clean and the temperature was a little cold, just as I like it.

And safely into Norwich, a few minutes ahead of time. The journey cost around £10 including the booking fee, which is good value compared to the price of the train.

As an aside, and something I forgot to mention before. I try to avoid coaches because I prefer trains, but I find National Express just a little odious with their NX Rewards scheme (and here’s the Trustpilot reviews about it). I know some people (well two – and they were idiots to fall for it) caught by this, they try and get people to claim a discount of £17 off their next National Express fare, but there’s then a charge of £15 per month for anyone who forgets to cancel as it’s a subscription thing. And the cancellation system is rather unusual, involving a PDF form rather than an on-line cancellation. Having never joined up, I’m not quite sure what people get for their £15, but not a great deal is the sound of it, it seems to be less a loyalty scheme and more some Quidco type set-up. It looks though like anyone who complains on Trustpilot is getting a refund, but this isn’t really the look of a professional company.

National Express can do what they like, but I think it cheapens their brand and if Flixbus (OK, I’ve grown to like them) include Norwich in their expansion plans, I can switch entirely away from them.

Incidentally, Flixbus currently have these routes in the UK:

London – Birmingham
London – Bristol
London – Portsmouth
Guildford – Portsmouth
London – Brussels
London – Paris

And just in time to get to Tesco in time for their discounting. How lovely.