TravelWatch SouthWest

TravelWatch SouthWest (TWSW) is a social enterprise company which acts as an advocate for passengers to lobby for the improvement of public transport in the region and works closely with local authorities, business organisations, partnerships and other stakeholder groups. With the dissolution of the former Rail Passengers Committee for Western England in July 2005, TWSW is the representative body for public transport users throughout the South West of England.

Please do not travel at present unless you have to.  If you are a campaigning group or  transport advocate, please advise all your members not to travel unless they have to either. 

As an organisation that co-ordinates stakeholder and community groups across the South West, we encourage you to use electronic means to stay in touch over coming weeks and months and to postpone or cancel meetings and other gatherings.   We commend to you advice from  the Community Rail Network – mirrored at http://www.passenger.chat/23070 on holding events and meetings, and to suggestions from Transport Focus at http://www.passenger.chat/23084 if you’re working with transport providers (or lobbying them) to provide appropriate but reduced services over coming weeks.

Next Zoom Meeting:  Friday 19th June 2020

Next General Meeting: Friday 9th October 2020

As the next general meeting is not until the autumn, it remains in our diary. Intermediate meetings in real life have been replaced by online (Zoom) meetings each week. You may find notes and user inputs from meetings that have already happened via the links below

8th May 2020 – Should we give up on the community ambition for better public transport, and what does “better” mean in the current climate?  Could COVID-19 be a catalyst for behavioural shift and a better passenger transport experience?

15th May 2020 – Planning for restart and taking the opportunity for lasting change

22nd May 2020 – In this week’s webinar we focused on links between public transport and health, as we continue agenda building and aligning Users’ needs with Government Minister Grant Shapps MP’s declared aspirations.

29th May 2020 – In this week’s webinar we focused on finding and delivering in-city solutions to the integral problems with current connectivity.

5th June 2020 – Linking Shared and Sustainable Transport.  There is broad agreement that alternative transport network must be seamless to usurp the car. But how?

12th June 2020 – What will be community rail’s role after covid19?  “Community and rail” or “Community Rail” or “Community and sustainable transport”?  How can our community members, groupings and organisations best partner forward?

Previous General Meeting: Monday 2nd March 2020

Our line-up includes National Express, SNAP and GWR

TWSW GM March 2020- Agenda for 2 March 2020

Our most recent General Meeting took place in Taunton on Friday 18 October and was sold out! 

The engagement stimulated a constructive exchange of ideas and recognition of common ground enabling TWSW produce a list of key priorities  for passengers and communities  in the South West.

Sponsored coaches to the venue

Our last Spring General Meeting Wednesday on 20 March 2019 welcomed over 100 attendees.   Giles Fearnley from First Group, Managing Director of First Bus UK, delivered Keynote address which signposted some simple measures which could deliver better service to passengers and tackle climate change.  The need for collaborative working could not be clearer.
The agenda and presentation slides from the day can be found through the links below.

We have moved the meeting from our usual weekend date to  grow our audience encouraging, carers for the young, industry and local authority representatives to come along.

All member groups are encouraged to send a representative to this meeting and additionally to send a second representative to represent their younger members as these will reap the benefit (or suffer the consequences) of decisions made and projects implemented in the next few years.

TravelWatch also welcomes representatives of groups who are not currently members, and representatives of public transport organisations and local and central government. Interested individuals not linked to represented groups are also welcome – please contact the secretary for an invite.


Some previous “Special Topic” Meetings

On 16 December 2019 TWSW hosted  Network Rail in Bridgwater for a conversation addressing local issues and frustrations to “one journey”.  TravelWatch SouthWest Chaired the meeting where the constructive approach of attendee User’s groups, Local Government representatives, SWLEP, Sub Transport Bodies, and Public Transport Operators produced discussions which were constructive.  An exciting announcement is expected by Easter.

TWSW CrossCountry Franchise Consultation Meeting – 22 June 2018 in Taunton. Around 40 member organisations met; listened to the Department for Transport’s overview of the next Cross Country franchise and how the consultation can help them, and then the consultation and questions therein were discussed one by one around the room. A most useful day to help each member group be informed to formulate their reply, and to inform the TravelWatch board for the TWSW response which is in preparation. Slides / presentations from the meeting are available via our meetings page

The TWSW Great Western Franchise Map and Direct Award Consultation Meeting held on Monday 15th January 2018 at the Council Chamber Exeter enabled Stakeholders to highlight passenger aspiration and needs for the future to the Department for Transport within the context of the Consultation. Read the TWSW Great Western Map and Direct Award Consultation response


The tab below provides links to presentations from the last General Meeting

General Meetings →

Register with us for the webinar at: registration Webinar 8 on 26 June 2020