Wednesday 18 March 2020 10:35 am

National Express plunges by third as transport stocks hammered by coronavirus home working

Shares in National Express crashed by a third this morning as investors fled transport stocks over concerns the coronavirus-inspired shift to home working could hit their businesses.

National Express shares fell 34 per cent to 86p today. On 28 February its shares were valued at 423p.

Go Ahead and First Group have also been hit hard as investors flee the sector.

Read more: Coronavirus: TfL set to lose £500m from decline in passengers

Go Ahead shares fell more than 17 per cent today to 420p. On 28 February its shares were trading at 1,949p.

First Group shares were down 5.4 per cent today at 38p. Its shares have crashed from 117p on 28 February.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said the falls could be attributed to the swift move of commuters to home working in light of government recommendations for social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“Looking at my train commuting in this morning, it was empty all the way into town. Commuters are taking the government’s message to heart and a lot of people are working from home if they can do so.

“Go Ahead and First Group were hammered yesterday and they are getting badly hit today.”

Read more: TfL to run reduced service during coronavirus outbreak

Transport for London said this week it is expecting to lose up to £500m from the impact of coronavirus as passengers stay away.

It said passenger numbers on the tube had fallen 19 per cent year-on-year and bus passenger numbers were down 10 per cent.