National Express vows to help get Scottish students home for Christmas

The UK’s largest coach operator has promised to make sure students across Scotland and the rest of the UK are able to get home early next month.

The announcement comes after news that universities in England will oversee an evacuation-style “student travel window” between December 3 and December 9 to minimise the risk of them spreading coronavirus.

Northern Ireland and Scotland are expected to publish similar plans for students' return in the coming days.

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The “student exodus” could impact more than a million people in higher education across the UK.

The “student exodus” could impact more than a million people in higher education across the UK. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP)
The “student exodus” could impact more than a million people in higher education across the UK. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP)

Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach said: “Organising a million students to travel home within one week poses a significant logistical challenge for Universities and because coach travel is so flexible, we can help.

“We’re increasing capacity on our normal routes that serve University locations as well as speaking with Universities to help them put on special services.

“We have the ability to quickly put hundreds of vehicles and drivers on the road and the expertise and technology to organise the booking and safe movement of students in line with the need for staggered departure dates set by universities.”

The company said all its coaches have covid-secure measures in place, including enhanced cleaning, reduced capacity, wearing of face coverings, temperature screening and additional air conditioning filters.

Chris Hardy added: “Students already know and trust us to get them to and from University safely. We’re ready to work with Universities and our team of local operators up and down the country to help coordinate this safely at such an important time.”

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