The Memorandum of Understanding, signed between the two organisations today (Tuesday 9 September), is the first agreement of its kind between the Highways Agency and a commercial transport operator. National Express is an important stakeholder and partner and makes millions of journeys on the Agency’s network every year.
Graham Dalton, Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, signed the Memorandum of Understanding today with Dean Finch, Chief Executive of National Express Group, at London’s Victoria Coach Station – the busiest coach terminal in the UK.
England’s motorways and major A roads are a crucial part of our national transport system – used by a wide range of customers with varying needs.
As we move towards becoming a government-owned company, with additional responsibility and accountability on behalf of road users, it is important that we provide an even greater focus on our customers.
We recognise that partnerships like the one signed today are vital if we are going to improve the customer experience for the millions of drivers who use our network every year.
The agreement will see road users’ journeys benefit directly. In practice this will herald:
- Faster information sharing when incidents occur on the roads, enabling National Express to add to knowledge of the issue and support the Highways Agency to deal with it as effectively and quickly as possible.
- Earlier notification of incidents so National Express can react more readily to divert coaches and keep them on track as necessary.
- Increasingly agile responses by National Express by improved forward planning around road works and improvements
The Highways Agency will additionally benefit from the company’s 40-plus years of expertise in coach journeys and their real-time updates, sent from their coaches while en route to destinations. This will give the Agency an extra assessment tool regarding the reliability of journeys on its network.
Dean Finch said:
National Express continually strives for excellence across all our operations and working in partnership with the Highways Agency will enable us to deliver a better service for the millions of customers who use our coaches every year, as well as supporting road users generally. We have an unrivalled expertise in passenger transport and believe this offers unique insight that can be harnessed to the benefit of road users across the UK.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.