General Meetings

We recognise our membership as a powerful resource of expertise, and organise twice-yearly TravelWatch SouthWest General Meetings which keep everyone abreast of developments and ideas. Speakers are invited from government agencies, the transport industry, including bus and train companies, airports and ferry operators, providing insight into the key issues affecting passengers.

At these events, delegates may enter into the discussion, helping to locate and progress service improvements and to ensure that public transport is given the high profile that it deserves.

Wake up! TWSW “Gathering Online”

Meetings are back with a series of 3 meetings online

Friday October 21st 2022 at 11 am completed

Here are the slides:

GWR Slides set 1

GWR Slides set 2

Friday November 11th 2022 at 2 pm

Register with Eventbrite HERE or

copy and paste

Title: Your Vision for Getting Around by Public Transport

All age groups and all parts of the community are encouraged to get in touch and meet with us online (industrial action has scuppered the physical meeting again!).

Taunton Brewhouse Theatre ONLINE

Link to register HERE

For the second year running, the COVID-19 outbreak required us to reconsider our plans for the much anticipated General Meeting in October 2021. In the current climate, an all-day meeting in the traditional flu season would not have been as inclusive as necessary, and potentially place an unnecessary strain on the NHS.

On the upside, the many TWSW webinars during lockdown provided effective forums for engagement. This proved an invaluable process and will continue as interactive Webinars and Fireside Chats after General Meetings have resumed.

The TWSW AGM was be held online for member groups at 1700 hrs on December 3th 2021.

TWSW Draft Accounts YE21

TWSW CIC34 Report

TWSW 2020 AGM Draft Minutes

TWSW 2021 AGM Agenda

There was TWSW full house at the General Meeting in Taunton on Monday 2 March 2020. We expect another in March 2022.

“Simpler, more reliable, comfortable journeys need joined up thinking”

“Coach is part of delivering the sustainable transport network of the future and we must work together to get the passenger experience right”

“One Journey” is a useful concept when seeking ways of delivering the integrated passenger vision of travel.”

Theme “Connectivity – A framework for moving forward”

Keynote speaker: Professor Graham Parkhurst, UWE and TWSW Board Director

Thomas Ableman the Founder and CEO of SNAP illuminated on-demand coach services as, ” an alternative for train travellers in the UK, created to solve the on-going travel mess” . and Charlotte Ritchie, Head of Public Affairs, National Express highlighted opportunities for Local Authorities, User groups and Operators to collaborate and give passengers the best from this mode.

James White, West of England Combined Authority and TWSW Board Director talked us though the concerns and routes to implementation of the Western Gateway strategy and implications passengers?

Popular as always, ‘Just a Minute’ included messages from: Norman Browne; Graham Ellis; Steve Caulston; Tony Reese; Mike Keatinge; Bob Driscoll; Sue Stevens; Rueben Paget; John Cummings on a public transport issue affecting the region.

Public Transport is part of the solution for the biggest economic, environmental and social issues affecting communities in the South West. We welcome newcomers, and emphasise that this forum provides a unique opportunity for those who are interested in the role of public transport as an enabler, and appreciate the need to overcome the barriers to use.

Once again, our thanks go to Stagecoach and Go Ahead for sponsoring coaches from Exeter and Bournemouth respectively, and calling at pick up points on route

Autumn 2019

Perhaps the problem is not how far you go, but it is whether you can get there?  Against a background of climate change recognition, increasing congestion, and inequality,  there could be the right momentum to bring public transport to centre stage and highlight it’s integral role in society.

The TWSW October 18th Meeting recognised the need to address public transport failures in rural and other poorly connected communities. From engagement exercises on the day, we were able to put together a comprehensive list of prioritised User objectives. These were particularly well defined as we had a benefited from a large ATCO South West presence (Association of Transport Coordinating Officers). These have been worked up into a policy objective paper which provides the basis for our conversation with operators, policymakers, officers, and other NGO’

Keynote speaker, Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) emphasised the value in reinstating connectivity in areas of transport poverty. 

Other speakers included, Heather Cullimore, who drew on her experience co-ordinating transformative projects in the Greater Bristol area and providing evidence of physical barriers to journeys which left urban communities as isolated as those in sparse rural areas.

Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of Great Western Railway was as candid as usual and, answering all questions put to him, beyond just the planned conversation around timetable changes.

TWSW GM October 2019 – Papers

Please inform us if you are catching on of the free buses detailed below:

2019 October Free Transport Go South Coast

2019 TWSW October Free Transport from Exeter t Meeting

While general Meetings are a twice yearly fixture in the calendar, we ensure our members actively engage in the consultation process through seminars, meetings and workshops to tackle specific issues, as required
Thank you to all our members who made up the very strong turnout for our Spring Meeting in Taunton on Wednesday 20 March 2019.

Giles Fearnley, First Group was eloquent as ever in delivery of the keynote speech “The Future for the Bus?…….Why I am optimistic”.   Some remarkable statistics came through, indicating the increasingly crippling impact of congestion, but also directing us to sustainable solutions attainable through partnerships.


Zsolt Schuller:  Active Travel – what role for public transport?  Exeter and Cranbrook Sport England Pilot

Damien Jones:  Doing what Matters Devon County Council

October 6 2018

Members impressed industry speakers enough to stimulate the creation of two exciting new projects enabling continuous engagement between industry and stakeholders, watch this space…..

“Just a minute slots” were full and topic short articles on each can be read on our linked “just a minute” page which will be up later in the week.

Thanks to Stagecoach and Go-Ahead for enabling members to reach the meeting in Taunton by providing free buses from Exeter and Bournemouth.  And of course, thanks to GWR for their continued support which recognises the significance of this single forum for South West regional stakeholders.

TWSW GM October 2018 – Agenda 


Implications of new transport technologies for traditional public transport operations – Prof. Graham Parkhurst

Shaping public transport for the South West – Christopher Irwin

CrossCountry Consultation Meeting  22 June 2018

Chris Irwin’s Cross Country Franchise Public Consultation Slides

DfT Peter Latham and Transport Focus Slides

“Joining the Dots” was launched by Chris Irwin at our October 7th 2017 General Meeting  

High numbers were drawn by the day’s theme, “An integrated transport system which includes public transport is key to the three pillars of sustainability essential to a thriving South West”.

Delegates provided interesting questions, commented in “Just a Minute” and discussed stimulating and informative presentations from;  Mike Watson, Regional Director England & Wales, Stagecoach; James White, West of England Combined Authority; Alex Carter First Bus in conjunction with Cornwall Council; and Christopher Irwin , TravelWatch South West.

TWSW GM October2017 – Agenda

Delivering Transport & Growth James White

One Public Transport System for Cornwall  delivered by Alex Carter, written by Glyn Williams

Connecting The Dots Christopher Irwin

TWSW March 2017 – Agenda

Jag Maitala, DfT presentation to TWSW March 2017

Graham Ellis and Richard Gamble Present

SCRP – Keith Walton TravelWatch presentation March 17

The TravelWatch SouthWest AGM took place in Exeter on November 30 2016 and Nick Buckland OBE is welcomed to the Board.
TWSW October 8 2016 General Meeting Agenda

 ‘Bus Services in Action’ Go South Coast’s Managing Director, Andrew Wickham

 ‘Total Transport’ Devon County Council’s Head of the Transport Co-ordination Service, Damien Jones

Workshop: PRTF consultation Christopher Irwin, TravelWatch SouthWest

Teh UK Bus Archive – The Kithead Trust

TWSW – 5 March 2016  General Meeting Agenda 

Network Rail presentation to Travel Watch South West on 5 March 2016

Wiltshire County Council Bus Strategy Presentation

Stagecoach SW Present Something New – The Falcon

“The Other Half”  Stakeholder response to the South Western Franchise  Consultation

TWSW 3 October 2015 General Meeting Agenda   

Travelwatch – Our New Franchise Presentation by Ben Rule,GWR 

The Great Bristol Bus Challenge First Bus  James Freeman

TWSW Update – Nina Howe, Transport Focus

21 January 2016 Bus Workshop in Taunton

Mike Watson – The Changing Environment Challenges and Opportunities

The Local Authority ChallengeTravelWatch South West 

March 7th 2015 TWSW General Meeting Focusing on:  “The Future Role for Public Transport in the South Wests Economy and Growth

Presentation: South West Trains 07-03-15 C Loder 

Presentation: Stagecoach SW M Watson 070315

Presentation: Campaign for Better Transport S Joseph

TWSW General Meeting  Chairs’ Report October 2014

Getting to Grips with Developing Local Services – Roma Patten Exmouth Community Association 

MetroWest: From Concept to Delivery –  James White 

The wisdom of electrification to a non-terminus  Bedwyn Train Passenger Group

TWSW General Meeting  5 October 2013 (Chairs_Report)
TWSW  General Meeting 6 October 2012
TWSW General Meeting – March 2012 Chairs Report
TWSW General Meeting – October 2011 Chairs Report

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