National Express

Operational information

Network Control Centre

The Network Control Centre (NCC) is responsible for the day to day management of the National Express Network. The NCC is the operational link between the movement of our customers and the assistance required by our coach stations team, operators and drivers.

The NCC are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the network, this includes services running to time, facilitating conflict resolution, and providing clarification on required information of detail checking to allow a driver to board a customer.

The NCC will manage any situation where a vehicle cannot continue in service, this will include arranging the movement of the passengers on board, and in addition the NCC will take all necessary steps to ensure the complete safety of the driver, vehicle, any passengers on board and the public in the local vicinity.

The NCC manages the communication channels between drivers, operators and the rest of the National Express business during any incident, they also manage the costs involved with any actions taken and disseminate these accordingly.

Key Department Priorities

  • Safe operation of the National Express Network
  • Manage any incidents in line with NX policy
  • Provide assistance to any coach station, driver or operator with an operational issue

Contact the NCC if you need assistance but ensure that you have exhausted all other avenues ie. information available on uTrack and OCS. If you are dealing with coach breakdown in your coach station, ring NCC first rather than the depot/controller so that we can respond quickly and effectively.

NCC will let the garage/depot know of any developments as necessary. They will always try to achieve an agreed outcome but, when there is some dispute, NCC’s decision will take priority.

Key National Express Departmental Relationships

Service Delivery Incidents are used to help support and improve Partner Operators performance.
Contracts Incidents are used to manage the payment system to all operators,
they are also used as evidence in any contractual management purposes.
Safety Incidents are used as evidence for all safety-related issues, the NCC manages the
incident from start to finish in a live scenario, and after the event is cleared the data
is sent to the safety team to investigate.
Customer Experience/CRT The NCC work closely with the CRT and Customer Experience teams to manage live
situations involving customers, this can include serious issues including injury, loss and assault.
Finance The NCC manage all costs relating to replacement services or the movement of customers,
this includes agree and recharging all invoices raised against the operational network.
Stations The NCC work closely with all stations to ensure the smooth running of the network, they
work together to manage any situation that has caused a change of the scheduled services,
this includes repatriation and further onward movement

When calling NCC...

When calling NCC you should give the following information:

  • Your name and your coach station
  • The service number and vehicle registration number if relevant
  • Commencement time of service.
  • Nature of the problem.
  • Contact telephone number.
  • Number of customers (if applicable) and any customers with service connections.


An important part of the service we offer customers is the safe and secure carriage of their luggage on their journey.

National Express allows customers to travel with:

  • up to two medium cases in the hold (70cm x 45cm x 30cm) each with a max weight of 20kg
  • OR one large item that has maximum dimensions of 75cm x 50cm x 32cm with a maximum weight of 20kg

The Customer Service Team are expected to support our customers during the boarding process and assist drivers with loading heavy luggage when required.

Oversized special items or excess items are subject to additional charges. They can be bought online, before travelling or on the day of travel from customer service or from the driver.

Drivers must not carry unaccompanied luggage other than approved parcels and National Express mail/parcels.
Customers can take on board one piece of soft hand luggage (45cm x 35cm x 20cm) which must be able to be placed under the seat in front or in the overhead lockers.

With the exception of briefcases, no hard-shelled cases, wheeled bags or hard-framed rucksacks/ backpacks are permitted onboard for safety reasons. Such items can be stowed with hold luggage without additional charge. This is to avoid customers attempting to place items that won't fit comfortably in the overhead lockers or under seats. It also reduces the risk of a heavy item accidentally falling and injuring a customer on board.

Our commitment to our customers

The following is our commitment to customers:

  • Coach Station Team and Drivers ensure that no luggage is left at stops without being sure it is claimed by its legitimate owner.
  • Customers can board a coach with hand luggage for storing in the overhead locker/racks or under the seat in front of them. We encourage our customers to label their luggage National Express luggage labels are available for customers to purchase from any coach station.
  • Drivers, assisted by the Coach Station team when required, will load cases and other items into the boot or side lockers of coaches.
  • Drivers and coach station team will handle luggage with care and consideration when placing it in the vehicle.
  • Customers should not place electrical/fragile items, travel documents, medication and items of high value into baggage that is loaded into the locker of the coach.
  • Drivers and Coach Station Team will attempt to carry any item that the customer presents for travel; the limiting factor is the capacity of the coach storage lockers. If we have space, we will get it onto the coach, subject to excess luggage charges.

Within your coach station, customers are prompted to check the size of their luggage using the following guide.

Please be proactive in identifying customers with excess luggage and check if they have purchased the right excess luggage add-on prior to boarding. If the customer's luggage is heavy, politely ask the customer to support loading their luggage into the coach lockers.

Foldable wheelchairs & mobility scooters - see ‘Accessibility and inclusion’ section.

Declining the carriage of luggage

This is a rare exception and usually only occurs when there is no space in the boot or side lockers of the coach. Contact NCC first before you tell a customer that you are unable to carry an item.

On some airport routes, customer luggage may occasionally exceed the locker capacity; if this looks like it may happen, you or coach station staff should contact NCC for assistance.

Prohibited items of luggage

For the safety of staff, customers and other road users the following items cannot be carried. If a customer presents any of the below please contact coach station staff or NCC.

(i) weapons: unless prior agreement has been sought with special conditions put in place for travel. Please be aware that some customers may carry religious items such as a Kirpan (a small dagger carried by Sikhs). Please call NCC for advice on permitting travel in these circumstances.

(ii) explosives

(iii) drugs (other than medicines for which there is a prescription or were obtained over the counter)

(iv) caustic substances or solvents

(v) non-folding pushchairs/prams

(vi) oversized sports equipment (other than where we agree to do so under Section 11)

(vii) non-folding bicycles (other than where we agree to do under Section 11)

(viii) wheelchairs and mobility scooters that do not comply with the necessary compatibility checks. Call NCC for advice.

(ix) any items which, in the opinion of a coach or National Express representative, are or may be unsafe, or may cause injury, offence or damage to any persons or property, including items with sharp or protruding edges, any item over 20kg in weight or any item which cannot be folded down or packaged, or items which are otherwise considered by us to be unsuitable for carriage by reason of their weight, size, shape or character, or which are fragile (and not securely packed) or perishable or in liquid form (and not securely sealed).


Child travel & unaccompanied young travellers

Current policy states that all children under 14 must be accompanied by a person 16 years or over who is responsible for making sure that the seat belt is worn or a child seat is installed correctly.

There is no charge for children three years old or under. Customers may seat a child under three on their lap for the journey if they don’t have a child car seat. However, encourage customers with children under three to use a seat if one is booked and/or available and they have a child seat or baby carrier that can be properly secured.

Children should not sit on a coach seat unless suitably restrained (ie. in a child seat or on a booster seat with a seat belt). If a child is seated on a lap, encourage the customer to hold onto the child securely. Customers should not wear their seatbelt over the child as well as themselves.

If an unaccompanied young traveller, aged under 14 years, attempts to travel on any National Express service, follow these procedures:

  • Young traveller accompanied at the time of boarding but travelling alone: please seek advice from NCC and/or Customer Relations Team.
  • Young traveller alone at the time of boarding: Decline travel and ensure safe custody. Call the Police and advise NCC.

The only exceptions are on registered sections of a route:

  • Unaccompanied children may be carried over the registered section only, subject to seats being available. If you are in any doubt that a particular section of the route is registered, seek assistance from the NCC.


Duplicate services

So that we can respond to increased customer demand on certain routes at certain times (such as weekends and Bank Holidays), we will often ‘duplicate’ a service; ie. one or more extra coaches are added to a service so that more seats can be sold.

If this is the case, your line manager will let you know when they receive the notification from our planning Team. This will also be reflected on the driver’s chart/pick-up list, it will show more seats sold than the capacity of a single coach (for example, 96 seats sold on a 48-seat coach).

If a service has been duplicated, those customers going to the final destination should be loaded onto the duplicate or additional coach. Customers going to intermediate stops should be loaded onto the service coach.

OCS, Coach Tracker & Traffilog

  • This tutorial video will give you an overview of how to access 'Booking State' in the OCS system as well as how to access “View Incidents”
  • This tutorial video will give you an overview of how to access and navigate our Traffilog system
  • This tutorial video will give you an overview of how to access and navigate our Coach Tracker system.

Please note: you may need your iLearn login to access some of these videos.

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