Bus users in the West Midlands will see a difference on their streets from today (4 February).The name synonymous with the region's public transport network, Travel West Midlands, has been changed to National Express West Midlands, as part of a major initiative by the Birmingham-based leading transport company, National Express UK Limited.A new bus and coach livery was also revealed by Richard Bowker, Chief Executive of National Express Group, featuring a new design with a ‘connections' device, which will be applied to all of the region's buses from today.
National Express UK Limited is the new division of National Express Group which moved its head office from London to Birmingham in January 2008. The business operates four train franchises, the UK's No1 coach company, an airport and commuter shuttle bus services and bus companies in London, Surrey and Dundee.To date each of its businesses has operated under a different name including Travel West Midlands and Travel Coventry.
At the launch today Richard Bowker explained what the changes will mean for the region, "The move to Birmingham is one of the key steps we are taking to realise our vision of Making Travel Simpler for customers.Being one business and making integrated decisions means we can simplify the lives of those who travel with us.One of the first things we decided to do was to look at our brand identity as we want to create a brand that makes sense to our customers and is easily recognisable as National Express - whichever of our services they travel on".
Following extensive research with employees and customers, the new design of the National Express name was developed.The coach business has operated under the name National Express since the 1970's; it is a recognised ‘Superbrand' and more than 90% of the UK population have affinity to the name.
Richard continued, "It is important to remember this is more than a change of brand name and logo, it is about how we do things.Our research shows it will make our customers' travel decisions simpler and it will benefit employees as they will be part of one of the biggest travel brands in the UK."
An integral part of ‘Making Travel Simpler' and the relocation of the headquarters to Birmingham is the integration of the bus and coach operations into one division based in Birmingham and closer working across the train businesses.National Express is now working on a series of initiatives to bring the businesses together to benefit customers.
Richard added, "We know things like providing integrated ticketing options, joined up journeys and more flexible ways to book those journeys are important to our customers.Within this new business we will be developing a range of new initiatives that to improve our product offering and to encourage people to leave their car at home and use public transport."
The first of these initiatives was revealed at the launch and will be available to the public from Monday 11 February.It will enable all customers who travel by coach to buy a Daysaver for £1.50 instead of £3.00, and all customers who hold a four week Adult Travelcard to receive 10% off the National Express coach network.
For further information, please contact:
Stuart Henry on 07920 781 452 or Joy Williams on 07795 267 453.
Notes to editors
About National Express Group: Around one billion journeys a year are made worldwide on our bus, train, light rail and express coach operations. We deliver services in the UK, North America and Spain. Our aim is to Make Travel Simpler. Our 40,000 employees are committed to improve the quality of life for all through travel.
It was announced in July 2007 that National Express Group planned to integrate its subsidiary companies into one single division, now known as National Express UK Limited.This includes National Express coaches, National Express West Midlands, National Express Coventry and National Express Dundee, National Express East Coast, one (soon to be National Express East Anglia), C2C (will rebrand later in 2008) and National Express Dot to Dot.Kingsferry and the Midland Metro will remain in their existing livery and branding.
Terms and Conditions for coach and bus offer: Offer ends 31st May 2008. Offer only available on Adult 4 week (including those purchased via TWM's direct debit scheme) & Annual Regional Travelcards, Regional Travelcard with Metro Add-on, Birmingham & Black Country, Black Country and Coventry Faresavers and Early Bird cards.Offer only valid in participating stores.One daysaver ticket per valid National Express Coach ticket.Coach ticket must have minimum spend of £5. National Express UK Ltd reserve the right to withdraw this offer at any time.