Outsized boxes on National Express buses

mmmmartin

Random geezer
ICBA but maybe someone should get the UK Cycling people to do some sort of campaign with National Express coaches.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
ICBA but maybe someone should get the UK Cycling people to do some sort of campaign with National Express coaches.
Mentioned upthread is a "booking fee", doesn't have to be paid and it guarantees nothing, travelwise.
If the driver(s) were to get that, or part of that, I bet you'd have no trouble getting the bike into the luggage area.

Limiting factor is the actual height of the luggage compartment. Standard bike box is just too big to fit in, in an upright posistion.
 
OP
22camels

22camels

Active Member
Whilst an upright position would be preferred, I am struggling to imagine how the box would stay upright (it is now ~80cm high, but 20cm wide).

Where is the 14 day notice thing stated? As far as I am concerned, I am carrying a box of luggage, not a bike (for the purposes of national express).

Bike is now boxed up and I have booked the coach ticket, funfare,with no flexibility to shift to later coach, nor any extra luggage fee (it looked kind of useless paying that supplement in advance since it says I can pay on the day too). I have a later train as an insurance policy, though that is also not 100% certain it will be allowed, otherwise I would have gone with that. Put together I think the chance of success by bus or train exceeds 99%, although individually they are perhaps 90% bets, if you get my drift.

Will let you know how it pans out, not travelling till May.

I think long haul flights are a bit different to European flights eg I doubt I would risk taking a "ctc plastic bag" on a long haul flight (though it depends on the airline and the airport).
 

classic33

Legendary Member
The 14 day limit isn't something that is generally made known to the person travelling. In the same way that they never mentioned that the final call on what is loaded, is the drivers, not the companys.

As for keeping it upright there are stays/supports within the bays. Both drivers and company will tell you that they are not responsible should any item go missing. I've disagreed over this bit, as access to the luggage bay/compartment is down to the driver alone.

NX are doing themselves no favours on this sort of thing. Given they're the eurolines operator in the UK.
 
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Location
London
NX are doing themselves no favours on this sort of thing. Given they're the eurolines operator in the UK.
Agree, and no favours to passengers - more of an issue now for folks going to stansted from london after stansted airport chopped off terravision's bus link for not paying enough* for a contract place. * bribery against consumer interest another definition.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
Get stickers made up with your coach travel ticket numbers on them and use them on the box when needed.
"Stickers" need be nothing more than plain white paper strips with the numbers printed on them. Sellotaped in place before setting off on the coach part of your trip. If you write them on the box cover them up with return one.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
@22camels
The 14 day notice is the eurolines rule, whilst the luggage payment you mentioned doesn't apply to bikes.
Priority is given to wheelchair users, for storage.
At any stage in your journey you can be asked to remove your luggage from the coach and wait for the next one. Even if you had paid the fee mentioned, now £15 by the way.

If you're asked if it's packed as it should be, answer yes.
They(National Express) require the handlebars, wheels and pedals removing.
Drivers have the right to open and inspect any item in the luggage compartment. Removing it if they have doubts about it.
So take some tape with you in the box, to reseal just in case it is opened.
Tip. Avoid plain sellotape/brown tape in parts. IF the box is opened you'll then be able to tell. Use at either end and in the centre of any long joins/seals. Also useful at the airports. You have a visual indicator of the box being tampered with.
 
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OP
22camels

22camels

Active Member
Update: it was fine, no worries whatsoever.

More detail: I paid £19 advance for the 05:45 Wednesday morning NE coach from Swansea to Heathrow. If it had not worked out, I would have had the 06:45 coach and the 07:28 great western train as insurance (they would have cost £50 more). The first coach was fine, boarding at its first stop no questions asked, even after we had picked up all the passengers at the other stops, the luggage compartment was not full and my box was quite happy lying horizontally with nothing on top of it. Maybe if it was busier it would have been different. I was checked in and chilling out in the departure lounge with 3 hours to spare until departure.
 
Location
London
Currently booking a ne coach. Travel early March. I have never had a problem yet, been on half a dozen ne coaches.
Same problem tho there is 2 travelling. Their bike policy is rubbish. Will update soon.
Can you clarify?
Why do you say their policy is rubbish if you have never had a problem?

Do you mean that they refuse to be clear about the rules/booking and leave you worrying that it is down to the driver on the day?
 

albal

Veteran
Location
Dorset
Can you clarify?
Why do you say their policy is rubbish if you have never had a problem?

Do you mean that they refuse to be clear about the rules/booking and leave you worrying that it is down to the driver on the day?
They explain that it is down to driver discretion. What does this mean? That's what I mean by rubbish. I paid for an extra bag, as the op did to give me Lea way. Shouldn't have to do it. Miss this coach I,m stuffed. Must of had a decent driver over the years I guess.
tho I do recall a 0300 HR coach driver muttering something about having to load x2 bikes on 'his' bus.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
They explain that it is down to driver discretion. What does this mean? That's what I mean by rubbish. I paid for an extra bag, as the op did to give me Lea way. Shouldn't have to do it. Miss this coach I,m stuffed. Must of had a decent driver over the years I guess.
tho I do recall a 0300 HR coach driver muttering something about having to load x2 bikes on 'his' bus.
Driver will watch/supervise! you loading your luggage, but shouldn't be actually loading it.

This to prevent any claims of mishandling, and the ever present health & safety "excuse". They were hit a few years ago with claims for injuries from drivers.
 
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