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Press Release 23rd February 2023 Cheltenham

Cheltenham Racecourse has linked up with National Express coaches to ensure that all racegoers are able to make it to The Festival on time, following last week’s announcement of the latest round of rail strikes by the Rail, Maritime & Transport (‘RMT’) union.

The rail strikes announced by the RMT are set to include industrial action on Thursday 16th March, St Patrick’s Thursday at The Festival, as well as Saturday 18th March, the day after The Festival concludes. 

With the industrial action highly likely to impact rail services on the days leading up to March 16th and 18th, National Express will be offering increased coach services directly to Cheltenham Racecourse for all four days of The Festival (Tuesday 14th March to Friday 17th March inclusive).

Services direct to Cheltenham Racecourse are available from over 70 locations across England and Wales. For further details and to book, racegoers should go to Services will arrive at and depart from Archery Field, a short walk from Cheltenham Racecourse. Stewards will be on hand to direct racegoers to the pop-up coach park for their return journeys. 


Ian Renton, Regional Director at the Jockey Club (Cheltenham and South West), said: “Last week’s announcement by the RMT states that the next round of industrial action will include St Patrick’s Thursday at The Festival on Thursday 16th March as well as on Saturday 18th March, the day after The Festival concludes.

“Every year a large number of racegoers rely on rail services to make their way to The Festival. We therefore thought it was essential to be as proactive as possible in arranging alternative transport options.

“We have a longstanding and excellent working relationship with National Express and the extra coach services they are providing should help ensure that racegoers’ plans are not significantly impacted by the RMT action.

“I would like to extend our thanks to National Express for their assistance in helping to make this happen.”


Ed Rickard, Service Delivery Director at National Express, said: “In addition to our national scheduled coach network, we also provide dedicated services to festivals and events.

“Having served The Cheltenham Festival for over 10 years now we are well-positioned to help thousands of racegoers get to The Festival with minimum hassle.

“We are expecting over 20,000 passengers to travel on our coaches throughout Festival week, so we recommend that customers plan ahead and book their tickets early to guarantee a seat.”


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