National Express to expand London bus routes axed by Megabus

National Express expanding services from Great Yarmouth and Norwich to London

Ian Forkes director of Ambassador Travel receiving the 2021 Golden Spanner and certificate from Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express. The company is expanding its service to London and needs at least ten new drivers. - Credit: Ambassador Travel

At least ten new drivers are needed as a bus company expands its service to London.

Ambassador Travel (Anglia) which operates the National Express 727 service to Heathrow from Great Yarmouth is increasing the number of coaches on the route from nine to 12 taking it to a virtually 24 hour operation.

National Express is expanding its fleet in Great Yarmouth

National Express is adding to its fleet in Great Yarmouth improving connectivity to London. - Credit: National Express

It says the decision by Megabus to stop  all its services between Norwich and London also made its 490 and 491 services from Yarmouth via Acle, Norwich, Thetford, London Stratford and Victoria Coach Station "more appealing than ever".

The Megabus M16 service ran between Norwich, with stops at the bus station, University of East Anglia, and Stratford in London, but ended on May 1 "due to a reduction in passenger numbers."

However Ian Forkes director of Ambassador Travel said the Great Yarmouth-based coach firm was seeing a surge in demand, enough to significantly expand the service.

Golden spanners awarded to Ambassador Travel

Ambassador Travel is proud of its full set of National Express Golden Spanners awarded for engineering excellence. - Credit: Ambassador Travel

Adding to the fleet meant there would soon be seven runs a day to Heathrow Airport from Market Gates in Yarmouth calling at Norwich bus station, the UEA, Thetford, Mildenhall, Cambridge, Stanstead, and Heathrow.

The new timetable aims to be up and running by the end of June and will require at least ten new drivers, although recruiting them could be a challenge with only a small pool of qualified candidates many of whom had defected to the trucking industry to plug a shortage there.

National Express is expanding its 727 service from Great Yarmouth to London Heathrow.

The National Express 727 service from Great Yarmouth to London via Norwich is expanding, going from three to seven runs a day. - Credit: Ambassador Travel

The first 727 will leave Yarmouth at 0.25am, the final run arriving back in the town at 4.30am, seven days a week.

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Mr Forkes said the company based at Gapton Hall industrial estate, had run services for National Express for some 40 years and had been awarded multiple National Express "golden spanners" for its engineering excellence after the awards' scheme was introduced in 2017.

The latest was handed to him by National Express managing director Chris Hardy.

Ed Rickard, service delivery director for National Express, said: “We are proud to have Ambassador Travel serve the region, delivering excellent service and connecting our customers with frequent and comfortable coach travel to London and beyond."  

Advance ticket prices from Yarmouth to London Victoria start from £6.20 (one way - journey time 4h 5mins); Great Yarmouth with Yarmouth to London Stansted Airport starting at  £29 (one way - journey time 3h 30mins). 

For more information and to book tickets see www.nationalexpress.com