The Chair of the EU’s influential Transport Committee visited Birmingham Coach Station last week to discuss the role of coach across Britain and Europe.
Hosted by National Express’ Managing Director Andrew Cleaves and Eurolines President John Gilbert, the North West MEP was given a tour of the £15 million Birmingham Coach Station and the state of the art coaches currently being introduced by National Express.
The Birmingham based company, which operates a number of transport brands across Europe including Eurolines UK and Alsa – Spain’s largest coach operator, has invested in 150 new coaches for Britain during 2011. Mr Simpson was particularly impressed by the accessibility of the new vehicles, all of which feature a specially designed wheelchair lift.
Brian Simpson, said: "I was keen to take up the invitation of National Express and Eurolines to visit the Birmingham Coach Station to discuss the important role Coach travel plays in both our national and European transportation network."
"I came away very impressed with the operation that I saw but was particularly taken by the efforts made to make coaches themselves accessible for people with reduced mobility and the efforts to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging better driving techniques."
The MEP was also given a demonstration of the company’s industry leading vehicle tracking, which allows National Express to pinpoint the exact location of every coach as well as monitoring their speed and internal temperature in real time.
John Gilbert, Managing Director Eurolines UK, said: "We’re delighted Mr Simpson could join us for a tour of Birmingham Coach Station and discussion around the future of the coach industry in Britain and Europe. We believe coach has an increasingly vital role to play in providing affordable, environmentally friendly transport and we wanted to highlight the opportunities and issues around growing coach patronage across Europe. A key part of this is improving the quality of passenger facilities at major interchanges."