17 February 2016

National Express to run Coach Station


The redevelopment of Plymouth Coach Station has reached a major new milestone after coach company National Express signed an agreement to manage the new site.

Heads of terms have now been signed between the UK’s largest coach company and Plymouth City Council, setting out the arrangements for running the new site in the West End of the city centre.

Under the agreement, National Express will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Mayflower Street facility when it opens for business in summer. Conveniently, the new site is located closer to the train station – ideal for onward connectivity for those needing local rail connections.

National Express will employ a team of staff permanently at the site – creating six permanent new jobs. It means National Express presence will move up a gear from the current site of the coach station at Bretonside with staff on-hand to provide information, process tickets and help with enquiries. The company has been closely liaising with the Council and its contractors to ensure the new station lay out and facilities meet their needs and provide a modern welcoming experience.

The seven bay coach station will also benefit from facilities including real-time passenger information systems, a waiting room, booking office, toilets, a blue badge holder drop off bay, a food and drink concession and ornamental lighting. Additionally, there will be enhanced on-site parking facilities with an 89 space car park and cycle stands, as well as a drop off and pick up area and taxi/private hire bays. The entire site will also be surrounded by extensive landscaping and trees which will dramatically improve the look and feel and ultimately help provide a welcoming sense of arrival.

National Express Service Delivery Director Kevin Gale said: “National Express has been using Bretonside since the early days. We’ve grown up with the coach station and delivered tens of millions of passenger journeys over the years but it is fair to say it’s looking a bit dated.

“We are therefore incredibly excited about the new facility which heralds an exciting new era not only for National Express in Plymouth but also for the city itself.”

Mr Gale, who has enjoyed a long relationship with Plymouth having grown up in the area and started his transport career in the city explained customer experience for coach travellers will be transformed.

He added: “The new coach station is going to be absolutely unrecognisable and we want to create a stunning gateway to Plymouth, offering a really welcoming customer experience. It’s great to see the Council invest in new facilities for passengers and we look forward to having a stronger presence in Plymouth.”

Plymouth has used the same Architect and Project Manager who helped create National Express’ flagship coach station in Birmingham.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet member for Strategic Transport added: “We are delighted to have National Express on board to run the new Plymouth coach station.”

Work started on the new coach station started at the new site in January, with construction company SWH Civils levelling the site. Work is on track for completion for summer. New Coach Station

The site is the large car park in the middle of the image above whicj must have been taken quite a while back when it was still in use as a car park. Coaches will enter and leave through the gap in the centre of the photo and turn left onto Western Approach. Only about half of the site will actually be for coaches with the left hand side being a car park.

I know many think that the site is too small and that coaches wont be able to get in and out but National Express themselves clearly think otherwise. Stagecoach Megabus have also been consulted so it should be a suitable site. It will certainly be a big improvement on Bretonside for passengers.


  1. Good news that it's to be managed by NatEx, but will there be a clause in the Council's contract that allows other timetabled coach operators in, both now and in the future?

    And where will the touring coaches go?

    1. Shouldn't really need a clause since it is a basic requirement of competition law in relation to bus operators that regardless of who owns or runs the depot all operators should be allowed access on equal terms.

  2. 537/538 out today in full Green Flash livery

  3. thought stage coach may off run the station

  4. I think it a right joke that stage coach haven't even got a travel shop so u can go in

  5. Stagecoach don't need a Travel Shop, they don't have a big enough presence in Plymouth to justify the expense of setting up and running one.

    I know that in many locations in Devon (e.g Newton Abbot, Torquay) local Tourist Information offices stock Stagecoach timetable leaflets and sell some Stagecoach passes, maybe it's the same in Plymouth (I don't know, I've never been to check). Local libraries are another possible outlet for timetable leaflets. Or perhaps - perish the thought - they could pay Plymouth Citybus to stock their leaflets and sell their passes in the PCB office. Stagecoach aren't exactly backward in marketing and promoting their services so I am sure they will do what they need to to get the information out there - cost-effectively of course :)

    Don't forget that many travellers use the internet to look up times, plan journeys and buy weekly/monthly tickets these days.

    1. The current National Express shop in Bretonside stocks Stagecoach timetable leaflets, so no reason to think the new coach station one won't.

  6. On travel information - is not the new Central Library going to be on the corner of Armada Way and Mayflower Street? Whether the National Express shop will sell Stagecoach (e.g. Megabus) tickets, I am not so sure - although the library might be able to do that as well, which could give it a bit of useful extra income.


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