National Express : London Victoria Coach Station to Hull

After the delights of a weekend in London, there was then the thought of the slightly less delightful six hour coach journey to Hull. The waiting area at Victoria Coach Station was packed when I got there, which wasn’t entirely ideal as I noted to myself just how hot it was.

Fortunately, a seat became available soon enough and that fan at the back (only one, the other was broken) helped slightly. This coach station facility is hopelessly inadequate for the number of passengers, but there’s no obvious way that they can improve the situation. There has been talk about moving it to a new location, but its site near London Victoria is quite handy. That section off the left was once the Megabus customer service desk, but they’ve moved to a slightly bigger bit at the rear of this photo and I note that more Flixbus services are emerging here now. I suspect that the coach market will become quite a competitive one in the years ahead.

The service before mine was going to Norwich and the driver came over to do a final check to see if there were any more passengers for his coach, but there weren’t. The driver said to a member of customer service staff that “I doubt that anyone here has even heard of Thetford”, but I decided not to get involved with that…

I was the first to board the National Express Thunderbolt service to Hull, which was stopping off at Nottingham and Lincoln en route.

The lovely clean coach. Everything seems to be pretty much in order, although the power points weren’t working.

I got my usual emergency exit row seat, slightly desirable as it has more legroom. The coach was nearly full to Nottingham, but nearly empty after it. The passenger next to me had been to Chelsea Flower Show for the day, spending £85 to get in. I had no idea that there was so much cost to see flowers….. I didn’t envy her getting up at 2am to get the morning service into London, just to go back in the afternoon. She mentioned to me that the driver had run a couple of red lights, but I hadn’t been paying attention (and it wouldn’t matter if I had, there’s a limited amount that can be seen from the back of the coach) and so that might not have been true.

And a few minutes early, here we are into Hull. The driver was friendly and the service was efficient and very keenly priced, costing me £9 which was entirely reasonable as far as I was concerned. Odd little quirks aside, the National Express service is definitely improving and I like that they’ve scrapped the £1 ticketing charge for those who have signed up to a free account with them. I’d rather get the train as it’s quicker, but in terms of the cost, this was an excellent service.