http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news...gory=news&itemid=NOED08 Dec 2006 18:01:11:980
08 December 2006 19:17
Train firm One could be in line for a name change as bosses of parent company National Express consider a massive image overhaul.
Just as commuters in the region have got used to the replacement of Anglia Railways with One two-and-a half years ago and the paint has barely dried on its upgraded London trains, Richard Bowker, chief executive of National Express, has hinted the firm should be seeking a bigger platform to exploit its corporate image.
But one passenger group gave the idea the thumbs down last night.
The name One was chosen after National Express became the single operator of trains out of Liverpool Street, leading to the disappearance of First Great Eastern and Anglia.
But many passengers have failed to warm to the name.
Commuters have long stopped chuckling at station announcers who declare: "The next train is the 7.20 One service to Liverpool Street."
Mr Bowker, former head of the Strategic Rail Authority and a disciple and former employee of Sir Richard Branson, who has built an empire stretching the Virgin brand, questioned the point of the One name during a newspaper interview.
"Is there value in the National Express brand? Is there value to be had in leveraging it across all our operations," he said. "We are thinking about it.
Last night a One spokesman said it was too early to say if change was on the way.
"There hasn't been any decision taken. National Express Group are carrying out a brand review of all their companies, but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be any changes for One."
But Peter Lawrence of passenger group Railfuture questioned the need for further change.
"The most important thing is that the trains run on time," he said. "We were very disappointed when they changed the name to One but people have got used to it now and it's established. Why waste money on rebranding when it's not necessary."