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National Express

COVID-19 update

COVID-19: Changes to how we operate

Our primary consideration for restarting our network has been to make sure we do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people and our customers.

We hope that you will find this guide helpful and informative, containing all the information you will need to get things started, helping us to safeguard the wellbeing of our people and customers alike.

Safer Travel Policy

Download our Coach Stations Welcome Back Pack 2021

Useful Information

New ways of working

Self temperature checking - Take your temperature at home before work to check that you are fit for work. If your temperature is 38C or above, stay at home and call 111. If you cannot take your temperature at home, please use the hand held thermometer available at your Coach Station.

PPE - PPE is available and must be worn for your protection. Always wear a face mask covering whilst at the Station including communal areas. Wear gloves when handling cash or customer luggage. Ensure you use the PPE disposal bin available at your site to dispose of single use PPE.

Social distancing - Promote and adhere to social distancing at all times. Stay apart, stay safe.

Hygiene & Cleaning - Coach Stations will be subject to an enhanced cleaning regime including electrostatic misting (Fogging).. Please use the hand sanitiser provided and wash your hands regularly, for 20 seconds or more. Wipe your desk, keyboard, phone, equipment etc before and after your shift.

Loading and Boarding - Please continue to assist drivers carrying out ticket checks and loading luggage as before, but remember to wear your PPE and maintain social distancing.

Face coverings - It is a legal requirement for customers to wear a face covering when using public transport. A scarf or bandana can be accepted as a face covering. Customers should be refused travel if they will not wear a face covering. Please notify NCC of all such refusals. Small stock is available for sale at each Coach Station. Exemptions: customers with health conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering. Under the Equality Act, do not ask for proof of a health condition.

Tickets - Any customer refused travel due to no face covering or having a temperature over 38C will be entitled to a full refund or free amendment. All Coachcards have had their validity period extended by 6 months. This will not be reflected on the Coachcards that customers carry, please do not decline travel. All Multirides have all been given extended validity until the end of the year; Customers with unused journeys to redeem are to be accommodated, subject to capacity.

Conflict - The world has changed and we are all working, living and travelling in different ways. Coping with change may cause additional conflict. Please stay calm and step back whenever dealing with conflict. Do not react or raise your voice. Report any instances of verbal, racial or physical abuse to your Line Manager.

 

Customer Services Manual

To support you with answering customer questions our Customer Experience Team has created a Welcome Back; Customer Services Manual.

This manual is a comprehensive customer Q&A guide for front-line teams and can be accessed here.

Boarding process

Customer boarding

After making the relevant safety and customer announcements:

  • Check all customers are wearing face coverings.

  • Temperature checking - All customers must be screened before boarding using a Forehead Infrared Thermometer. All drivers have been trained to use the device provided, please offer your assistance when required. All drivers are advised to follow the process below:
    • Politely advise the customer that they are going to have their temperature screened. The device requires separate training and must be used between 1cm and 3cm away from the customers forehead or wrist if they prefer.
    • While using the device make sure you are an arm's length away from the customer that you are checking. If the customer has a fringe in the way of their forehead then they must be asked to hold their fringe to one side exposing the forehead, otherwise the thermometer may give an inaccurate reading. If a customer is wearing religious garments or a cultural headdress (such as a burka or turban), drivers must screen the temperature of the wrist, approximately 10cm above the base of the palm
    • If after checking the customer they fail the screening, the driver should offer to repeat the process. If the customer fails for a second time, the driver must then show the customer the reading on the thermometer and politely advise the customer that they will not be travelling.
    • If the thermometer consistently returns fail readings or no readings at all, all customers should be permitted to board.
    • The Coach Station Team must then call NCC to report the failed temperature check.

  • Ticket checking - Where possible assist drivers during this process. use the ticket machine to scan the customers' tickets making no contact with the customer. If at any time you need to come into contact with the customer's device such as a mobile phone then you should sanitise your hands immediately after contact. Wearing gloves is always advisable to mitigate situations such as these. You can also ask customers to adjust their own screens for them to make viewing easier.

  • Luggage loading - inform customers to stand back while they are loading one case at a time. For heavy luggage, one customer is permitted to assist in loading the luggage with the driver as long as they are wearing their face covering. The coach station team is encouraged to assist drivers where possible. You must sanitise your hands immediately after loading luggage.

  • Wheelchair users - follow normal procedures, sanitise hands before aiding the customer and directly after.

  • Removing protective equipment - ensure to dispose of single-use PPE equipment properly and sanitise hands immediately. Local Safety Working Practices to be followed at all times.

Conflict Management

Tips for dealing with conflict situations

We recognise that the current situation means that there is an increased risk of conflict. There are new and additional requirements for yourself and our customers which may cause difficulties. This document is to provide you with some tips and guidance on how to prevent conflict from developing.

Remember!

As much as this is a different way of working for you with increased responsibilities such as customer temperature checking, it is also a different way of travelling for our customers. Try and remember that people may not feel confident with travelling and may be worried about becoming infected with Covid-19. Be patient and understanding as people adapt to the new way of travelling.

  • Be mindful of the key principles of the ‘NX Way’

  • Be prepared and informed
    With the new PPE requirements and reduced capacity on board there are a lot of new things that you need to be aware of. Make sure you are fully informed of these and know what is expected of you as a Customer Service team. We are also ensuring that customers are fully informed of the requirements in advance of travel and this should help to prevent conflict situations.
  • Remain calm and controlled
    It is easy for situations to escalate and it is important that you remain calm. If any situation is becoming heated or turning into conflict, do not argue with customers and ensure that the information you are giving is accurate. Remember that it is a new situation for customers too.

  • Follow the rules
    We have put in place PPE and new processes for you and our customers to ensure that we can run services as safely as possible. An area of conflict could occur if you are seen not to be following these requirements. Therefore please ensure that you wear your PPE, maintain social distancing requirements and communicate with customers with regard to their responsibilities.

  • The Network Control Center (NCC)
    The NCC team are there to offer support and guidance on operational issues that arise. Contact them by phoning 0330 123 0822.

  • Other Help and Support
    We appreciate this is a difficult time and there is a lot of change taking place. This can impact people in different ways and people may become anxious, angry or undergo stress because of the changes. If you feel that you need support or guidance regarding your mental health or wellbeing, we recommend that you use the Mental Health Foundation. Mental Health Foundation is a charity that provides support and information to people regarding mental health. For more information, please visit: mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus.


  • Customer Service Team Feedback
    As always, if you have any concerns, feedback or suggestions, email: customer.feedback@nationalexpress.com

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