A NATIONAL coach company which operates dozens of services from the North-East is to cancel every service and suspend running by the end of the week.

National Express, which links Newcastle, County Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire with the rest of the country, said it was no longer viable to continue operation.

It blamed a sharp fall in passenger numbers on the government's advice to avoid all but essential travel as Britain deals with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach, said: “We kept a limited coach network running to be able to help those individuals with essential travel needs but it is no longer viable to continue to do this.

"Passenger numbers continue to fall as the public rightly follow government advice to avoid non-essential travel.

"The decision to temporarily suspend all services is the right one based on the current unprecedented circumstances and I hope our passengers understand this.

“It is very clear that the critical thing we must do to protect our NHS and save lives is to stay at home.

“We know this is a worrying time. We take the welfare of our customers and employees extremely seriously and will continue to take guidance from the Government to ensure we do everything we sensibly can to keep them safe.

“When the time is right, we look forward to resuming services and welcoming customers back on board.”

What you need to know

The company have said all services will be suspended from Sunday (April 5), but journeys started before Monday (April 6) will still be completed to ensure passengers aren't stranded.

Passengers who had travel booked can either hold the ticket or amend it for a future date as long as it is within the next 12 months - this will be done free of charge.

For those who don't wish to travel, they can request a refund from National Express via their website.