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Mobility Measure

Branding the Overground public transport offer

Preston marketed its high frequency bus network by creating the Overground brand.

Implementing sustainable mobility

When redeveloping a public transport system, promotion and marketing are essential steps in promoting services and attracting new passengers. Preston decided to rebrand its public transport system, making it more user friendly as a way of addressing declining passenger numbers. The new “Overground” network was marketed in a similar way to the London Underground.


How did the measure progress?

  • The bus network was reviewed in cooperation with bus operators in 2005. In 2007, further changes were made due to competition issues within the network.
  • All key bus routes in Preston and the South Ribble area were colour coded and an Overground network map was developed and widely distributed.
  • A pocket guide to the network was produced in conjunction with the map.
  • New infrastructure was installed featuring the Overground branding.

The promotion of the network came to a standstill due to ongoing competition issues among bus operators and frequent changes to the bus networks.


What were the outcomes of the measure?

The measure achieved mixed results, largely because the CIVITAS project was being implemented during a period of upheaval in Preston’s bus market, with a new commercial operator taking over from the previous operator with whom Preston had been planning activities. Although most activities went ahead, time was needed to develop relationships with the new operator. Nevertheless, there were some clear benefits from the measure:

  • routes were branded throughout the area;
  • information provision improved;
  • awareness was raised of the network as a whole, rather than individual routes; and
  • leaflets and posters were distributed widely, helping to promote public transport.