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National Express keeps wheels turning on Bristol Airport service

Created: 27th Feb 2015

Bristol Airport is welcoming the introduction of a new National Express service which ensures the continued provision of affordable transport to and from South Wales following the high-profile withdrawal of coach operator First Group.

In a tribute to Bristol’s incredible aviation heritage, the new enhanced coach service is launched as the number 216 – the same number of the final Concorde and the last in a long line of aircraft to be designed, built and flown from Filton.

The move, which sees the UK’s largest coach operator stepping in to save the only direct public transport link between South Wales and Bristol Airport is seen as a major boost to affordable public travel in the region by making it even easier to get to the airport.

Faster and cheaper than its predecessor, the 216, launching on Sunday, March 1, between Cardiff Bus Station and Bristol Airport ensures the 1.2 million Welsh travellers who fly from the airport each year still have a direct public transport link.

With National Express tickets already on sale, the new 216 service maintains an affordable and direct link to the airport terminal door.

Running 12 times a day in each direction, the new service is operated by South Wales-based Edwards Coaches on behalf of National Express reaching the airport from Cardiff Bus Station in as little as 1hr and 20 minutes – 20 minutes faster than the outgoing service. It also calls at Cardiff University and Newport Rail Station.

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said: “The launch of a National Express service to and from Cardiff brings a high profile brand to the growing range of public transport options available to passengers using Bristol Airport, providing a convenient link to our route network for people and business in South Wales. It’s fantastic to have National Express on board and help strengthen the overall customer service offer of Bristol Airport.”

National Express Service Delivery Director, Kevin Gale said: “We are really pleased to be taking on this route which provides such an important link between South Wales and Bristol Airport. We are particularly pleased to be able to pay tribute to the Bristol’s amazing aviation history and the pivotal part it played in bringing the world’s fastest commercial aircraft to the world by naming our service the 216. We may not be quite as fast as a Concorde but our service, which is faster than its predecessor, links Bristol Airport to Cardiff in just one hour twenty minutes, offering unbeatable convenience for passengers.”

Sporting a bespoke ‘Bristol Airport Express’ livery the new service vehicles are fully wheelchair accessible, ensuring disabled customers can also enjoy a convenient and comfortable service.

With single fares starting at just £13 and a 25 per cent discount available to those who book a return ticket, the new service offers unbeatable value and includes the usual National Express refinements: power sockets, leather seats and air-conditioning.

The new service will also ensure 120,000 foreign inbound tourists flying to and from Bristol Airport that visit Wales each year can bank on a stress free transition from the airport to the Welsh capital – boosting local tourism.