Visit London marketer to head South West Trains

South West Trains has appointed former Visit London UK marketing manager Lucy Thornton as head of marketing. She replaces Peter Owen, who left the company at the end of last year.

Consultant Simon Beans has been overseeing the role since then. He has now left the company.

Thornton, who has al-ready started her new role, will be responsible for raising the profile of the South West Trains brand. She will head a five-strong team.

South West Trains has announced it is axing nine of its ten travel centres and replacing them with shops. It says it will offer all staff members alternative jobs.

The train operator appointed Smarter Communications last month to handle its marketing following a seven-way pitch. The agency has created a campaign to persuade travellers to use the train instead of their car during off-peak hours. The outdoor campaign uses the strapline “Park the Car”. It will run until March next year.

Stagecoach South Western Trains renewed its franchise to operate South West Trains earlier this year. It runs 1,698 trains every weekday, serves 213 stations and employs 5,500 staff.

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