TWM buses in name change

Years of public transport history are set to come to an end with the name Travel West Midlands disappearing from the region’s buses.

twmlogo.jpgYears of public transport history are set to come to an end with the name Travel West Midlands disappearing from the region’s buses.

All TWM buses will be re-branded National Express as part of a national scheme by the coach and train company.

Bosses say it will make travel simpler for passengers all over the country as all National Express-owned companies are brought under one organisation.

National Express UK Division was formed on January 1 as part of the new international National Express Group, which saw the company’s HQ move to Hagley Road, Birmingham.

The organisation, which employs 16,000 people, includes four train firms, five bus companies, airport and commuter bus services and UK coach services.

It is not yet known whether the Midland Metro, also run by National Express, will include new logos.

TWM has had its name since it merged with National Express in 1995 and had been West Midlands Travel since 1986.

Read the full exclusive story in the Express & Star.

Comments for: "TWM buses in name change"

Rob H

What a boring story!!! Yawn...there are more important things in this world than rebranding dirty buses I wouldn't use.

paul

woo hoo new stickers on our busses.

wolves4life

wow!!! what an amazing story!!

Chris Carter

New name, same service. Lovely jubley!

BRUCE THOMSON

SO WHEN THEY'VE WASTED A FEW MORE MILLIONS CHANGING LETTERHEADS,POSTERS ETC MAY I SUGGEST THAT THEY GIVE THE NIGHTBUSES TO PARIS'S RATP SINCE EVERYTHING HAS GONE INTERNATIONAL (CF FRENCH NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS).TEN YEAR'S AGO THE WEST MIDLANDS AND PARIS WERE BOTH A DISGRACE.NOW WE HAVE A FANTASTIC NIGHT BUS SERVICE OUT TO THIRTY OR FORTY MILES IN PARIS.IT WORKS ON ORDINARY DAY MONTHLY OR WEEKLY PASSES AND IS NOW VERY BUSY.SORRY BUT BIRMINGHAM AND THE WEST MIDLANDS EFFORT TO BE A WORLD-CLASS CITY IN SPITE OF NEAR THREE MILLION INHABITANTS IS A BIT LIKE A DAMP FIREWORK.AND YOU KNOW WHAT A ''MISSION'' MEANS LIKE I DO AMONGST MIDLAND KIDS ? IT'S THE TEN MILE WALK HOME AFTER THE GOOD NIGHT OUT AND THE TAXI YOU CAN'T AFFORD......CHANGING NAMES IS THE TIP OF THE MIDLAND ICEBERG.LIKE THE NEW TRAINS FOR LONDON MIDLAND.AS A FRIEND WHO WORKS FOR THEM ADDED "IN TWO YEARS' TIME".THE FLYING DUSTBIN AT NIGHT IS STILL ALIVE AND RUNNING BETWEEN MOOR ST. AND STOURBRIDGE....

Dennis Lance

Will this "rebranding" improve services or make them any more more reliable for users? No. Will it get spokesman (sorry I mean Corporate Affairs Director) Phil Bateman's ugly mug in the press and an excuse to waffle on a load of nonsense in the press? Definitely. This remember is a company that put it's fares up less than 10 days ago. If a TWM service you used has been withdrawn in the last 2-3 months (because they said that they were losing money), isn't it nice to know that soon the bus you used to catch but now can't, will have lovely shiny new stickers on it.

Think of all the other things that will need to be changed in addition to the names on the sides of the buses themselves - Staff Uniforms, timetables and publicity material, stationary, signs on bus stops and company property.

Within the last couple of months all TWM drivers have been issued with high visibility vests that have got "Travel West Midlands" on the back. Are they all going to get replaced with new ones or will we have the situation of one name on the side of the bus and another one on the drivers uniform.

The only people to profit from all of this will be the vinyl signs manufacturers and stationery printers who are given the contracts to produce all of the stuff with the new name on. Making travel easier. Sorry Mr Bateman, it isn't , only more expensive.

Ray

I believe the thinking behind this move is that the well-known and well-loved National Express brand might just add some lustre to NEX's bus operations. However, given many of the issues about cleanliness and anti-social behaviour that Travel West Midlands have still yet to get to grips with, I do hope for their sake that a jaded bus operation doesn't end up instead 'contaminating' the whole National Express brand.

DiscoDave

Bruce Thomson - try pressing the "Caps Lock" key before typing your next load of old tosh.

dexey

I don't find the service bad but it is expensive and the bus interiors aren't clean. I get a free bus pass this year so I'll be less bothered by the one.

Val

We've had Travel A2Z and the timetables reflected this. Now they're gone and the timetables haven't changed. It's pot-luck when your bus will turn up.

Why bring in Travel A2Z and remove it without notice? - please update the timetables and tell the customers when you do. Grrr.

John286

The amusing part of the story for former BMMO drivers was when asked to turn to page 28 to see pictures. It was the first time I new we ever had a Midland Red Trolley Bus on the Dudley to Walsall route, in-fact it is a BMMO D7, no power steering and a crash gear box. You may have noticed the single decker was Left Hand Drive, which meant passengers would have had to walk into the road to get on. It was a Volvo B10L 10 litre gas fuelled bus being demonstrated on the 17th June 1996. Owned by Swedish Transport Operator Linjebuss in Malmö.

Anyway, lets hope we get a decent colour scheme.

Ian Payne

Well we found out in New York that TWM owned the buses there - or will it now be NATIONAL EXPRESS ? I am quite pleased overall with TWM.

Kerry

What a fantastic way to waste all that extra money they're bringing in my raising fares AGAIN!! Lets take advantage of Joe Public all we can.... I mean, what consideration they have for raising fares in January, the month where most people are struggling with money thanks to Christmas.

I would think they would spend their money on a worthwhile cause like improving the reliability ad cleanliness of the buses. Oh and perhaps more powers to deal with the annoying little idiots who smoke drugs and lpay music at the back of buses. I was on a but this week, and someone was quite clearly smoking drugs and nothing was done. Someone bought it to the attention of the driver who just carried on driving - disgusting!

Perhaps a rebranding shouldn't be high on the list of priorities!!

BRUCE THOMSON

REPLY TO DISCO DAVE.

REASON SIMPLE : FRENCH KEYBOARDS ARE DIFFERENT SO YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO READ CERTAIN THINGS AND THE NUMBERS AT THE TOP REEK HAVOC AS SMALL ON ONE KEYBOARD AND BIG ON THE OTHERS AND I GET CONFUSED.IT IS WORSE TYPING FRENCH ON A BRITISH KEYBOARD.THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF KEYBOARDS ALL OVER THE WORLD.ANYWAY IT WON'T REDUCE THE INCREASE ON YOUR BUS FARES!

Andrew Edwards

I would just like to defend TWM and their operations. I work for a rival company to the NX Group close to the London area but I get to spend a bit of time in Birmingham and the West Midlands, therefore I get to use a lot of their services (even though I can drive). I cannot complain that much about anything they do. Reliability is generally impeccable with slight hic-ups every so often, but that can be expected with the rising number of vehicles on the road, buses are clean in the mornings, ok they can become a bit of a state by the afternoons (once the kids have finished school) but that can not be avoided unless more staff are employed which means more revenue needs to be generated by putting up the fares. As for fares, go anywhere else in the country and then you will realize that 1 pound 50 is very cheap for a journey that can take you from places such as Walsall in to Birmingham City Centre. Granted for some short journeys that can be a little steep but if you do this regularly then buy a pass. (they are promoted on the side of all the buses).

The West Midlands is extremely lucky with the public transport that is provided to them, its just a shame that people have to attack something by using a stigma that was created back in the 70’s and 80’s when it was Government run! From experiences, its non bus users that complain the most, even though they do not have a clue.

If more people got out their vehicles and used the public transport facilities provided then fares would not need to go up! Sure, every so often things may go wrong but if something goes wrong with your car you don’t stamp and shout (well you may do) and then say you will never use a car again.

The name change was probably budgeted for a few years ago so its just a growth process for the organisation, people don’t complain when other companies go through a re-branding period, plus the NX group supply new vehicles all the time, such as brand new deckers on route 997 that have not even been branded yet so I really can not see what all the fuss is about.

Willy Nilly

It's amazing how some people assume that because the "single journey" fare has gone from £1.40, to £1.50, that all fares have gone up.

If you are a regular bus user, ALL the weekly, monthly, and annual pass prices have been frozen, and in some cases reduced. This is to both encourage more people to buy the passes, thereby reducing the amount of cash on the buses, and also to speed up the loading of passengers at busy places such as b'ham city centre..

If you are NOT a regular bus user, then why should you be entitled to low fares that would be subsidised by the regular user who pays for their passes up front, for your one trip a week or whatever?

Phil Bateman TWM

I note the negative comments being made. The fact is that the business must continue to change. We pick up many of the comments that customers amke, as we do the comments in the newspapers!

The change that has been reported is more than just a change of vinyls. It is about changing attitudes, and changing the way we provide service for customers.

All that is changing as well as the fact that a FTSE 250 business has relocated out of London to operate its HQ here in the West Midlands! We are changing and I hope that you will see it for the better!

Phil Bateman

Corporate Affairs Director

TWM Driver

As a TWM employee I do agree with some comments.As a transport company standard issue of a high visibilty jacket should be priority not wait for one of our colleagues to be mown down by his best mate.Secondly TWM was actually started by fellow drivers who wanted to keep the company being bought by the fat cats.They raised the cash but as business goes they bought them out and who would not accept the millions offered.None of us are happy with the change to becoming National Express but thats just the way it is.All it is is to show what they own.As for fares you are lucky to have these prices and as noted if you dont want to pay it get a taxi or pay up front for one of the many passes available.If people were to stop defacing our buses which consists of chewing gum,permanent markings,food consumed,alcohol,smoking and burning seat,setting fire to buses,smashing windows,vomiting and excreting on the seats you would have lower fares.But as the world goes round fuel goes up .As a TWM employee our contract states that under no circumstances are you to get out of your cab.If you are assaulted you are not insured.Why not get off your backside and ask the candidate yourself. As for the tat we carry on journeys such as 79 and 126 we have to put up with everything.We do the job because it is providing a Public Service.We enjoy it when on the rare occasions we can do our JOB in peace and actually enjoy the publics company.But the majority of the time we are racing around to ridiculous times scheduled for these routes that you cannot stick to because of the volume of traffic on the road or because our buses cannot cope with the demand required of them.They have 2 hours rest a night then out again in service for 22 hours.Its not rocket science when your all standing at the stop huffing and puffing asking where the bus is.Common sense tells you there has been an accident or the bus has broken down or it is just a traffic jam.Oh no thats not good enough.Thats why you get three in a row because logically they catch each other up.Just scream at the driver who has been sat in that traffic trying to get to you to your destination but never any thankyou's are given to us.As for the negative part of the job yes people still do smoke on the buses.The 79 service and 126 are worst hit for this being such long journeys.But it is the tat we carry who are responsible.No job think there exempt from paying fares.Laughing in your face intimidating you in your job.Majority of course on the rock and roll or groups of young black men sucking there teeth at you like your scum.Pensioners who think we are nasty not letting them on the bus till 9-30.As a company we are not allowed to accept OAP passes because we are paid by Centro for accepting them otherwise you would be paying full fare for your travel.Most of course think that having an OAP pass entitles them to shove everyone else out the way.Also the branding of Bus stops and Timetables is not paid for by us it is paid by Centro who actually make the most money out of all of us.So in future when you get on the bus just remember there is nothing we can do just sit there and be jeered at.That is our society.Never mind the poor driver who has to be threatened with a gun or a knife for the sake of £1-50.

m b

the buses are extoutunet prices it is a waste of time having them

hehe

tony

There is a lot more to the job than just driving a bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!