I’ve had a mixed selection of journeys with National Express, sometimes they can be excellent and other times they’re a bit more challenging. However, the fare to get from London Victoria coach station to Leicester was just £4.20, so I worked on the basis that even if the journey was bloody awful, then it was still cheap. There’s a logic there I think, sort of….
I was going from Gate 2 and this was clearly indicated an hour before the journey. I like clarity and there was lots of it here, all very organised and there was seating whilst I waited. There’s also a Greggs and Pret nearby for those who like such things, and I popped to Pret for a drink….
I liked this, an old image at Victoria coach station of how it used to look. Today, the coach station is quite cramped and old fashioned, really needing more space and a renovation. There has been talk of moving the site, but I think it’s staying here for the foreseeable future.
The driver came and made clear announcements that passengers going to locations on the route that weren’t Leicester should board the National Express branded coach on the left. Those wanting to go to Leicester could get on this service operated by Roberts on behalf of National Express. I was a bit puzzled as to how this worked, as there are multiple stops that the coach was meant to take along the route, but maybe no-one had booked to go from, say Golders Green to Leicester. The driver was helpful though and everything was clear.
This was a clean and comfortable coach, and I spotted that seat on the left was free. It’s near the toilets, but it also has no-one in front, so it remains my go-to seat. Yes, I accept I need to get out more since I’ve now got a favourite seat on coaches…..
The service wasn’t very busy. Earlier on in the day I looked to see how many seats were left on the coach by doing a dummy booking, but it was showing as entirely full. That meant that I was expecting a packed coach (which wouldn’t have been ideal from a comfort point of view), but the dual operation meant that there was lots of space. This pleased me greatly.
As for the driver, Tony, he was exceptional. Warm, personable, engaging and with a sense of humour, I thought his customer service was excellent. He added positively to the journey and his driving was professional throughout. An absolute credit to National Express.
Safely in Leicester, arriving 50 minutes early which was a bit of a result.
I assume that National Express are getting new facilities here, unless they’ve moved to a little Portakabin for fun.
Anyway, this was a first class journey representing excellent value for money. A clean coach, friendly driver, professional driving, a cheap fare and lots of space, absolutely impeccable. I’m back to perhaps trusting National Express again and I would use them a lot more if I could expect this sort of service every time.