As promised, my story continues..
We were sat outside for a while.. Talking and laughing while the driver sat over the road waiting for National Express service support to call him back with his head in his hands. I glanced over and he looked up and smiled.
Some more time went by and after no solution I decided maybe I should make use of the facilities in the service area where we were parked. Myself and another passenger wandered inside to use the bathroom and noticed that the driver was talking to one of the passengers that was on the coach and thought nothing of it.
After a while of wandering around inside, we proceeded back outside where we noticed that the same passenger was still talking to the driver. About 10 minutes later the driver asked everyone to get back on the coach because he needed to tell us something. Everyone started getting excited and got back on and sat down.
“I have good news and bad news – the bad news is that we don’t have a driver” everyone groaned and laughed.. We kind of guessed that “the good news” he continued, “is that we have a driver that will take you on to London! You will all get there safely and thank you for having the patience in all of this stress!”
The passenger that was talking to the driver happened to also be a National Express driver whose shift didn’t start until 1:00pm the next day and due to the predicament that we found ourselves in he agreed to drive us down to London.
We all started cheering and clapping.. After an hour and a bit of being stranded.. We were moving.
We were happy and hopeful that we were finally on our way home. We had one stop before we got to London. We got there with ease, dropped off the 7 passengers and continued on our journey down to London. On the approach as we were riding along the M1, we saw a sign that said that the junction we were due to get off at had been closed due to road works so we had to find an alternative route.
Our new driver announced this over the speaker system and the reaction was of utter disbelief. We kept going and found a different route into London.
After travelling for 7 hours and 30 minutes we finally got to London.. A journey that was only supposed to take 4 hours and 40 minutes.
We got off the coach, thanked the driver and asked him what he was going to do with the coach. The station was closed and he had a coach that he didn’t know what to do with as no one from the company had called him back to advise. He laughed it off and said he’d be alright and told us to get off home. If it wasn’t for him.. I don’t know what would have happened.. He was a lifesaver!
Today at work I called National Express and explained what happened on our journey. They were mortified and apologised agreeing that the fault did on fact begin at the first station we stopped off and agreed to refund me the cost of my ticket. I was happy with that solution but I did express that maybe next time things are checked properly to ensure others don’t experience what we went through.
My dad had waited up for me to arrive – bless him – even though I was running hours behind schedule. He came and got me and we arrived home at 1:30am on Saturday morning.
I am glad we finally got to London even though it took much longer than expected.. I met some amazing people that night and I hope to keep in contact with them.
I am not slamming National Express in any way.. However I do think I may need to start looking at alternative ways to head back down to London.. It’s just that with coach it is generally always cheaper.. But cheaper doesn’t always necessarily mean cheerful as we can see from this case!
But we made it.. And it was sorted out.. And that’s all that matters..
I am now heading to sleep as I had a really busy weekend and also arrived back last night 40 minutes late.. But there’s no story to that.. National Express were just late.. Ha ha.
I hope you have all had an amazing day 🙂 x