Travel West Midlands - the name synonymous with public transport in the region - has been consigned to history.

The decision to rebrand it National Express West Midlands was unveiled yesterday as part of a major initiative by the Birmingham-based transport company National Express UK Limited - the new division of the National Express Group, which moved its head office to the city last month.

The business has operated under the name National Express since the 1970s.

It operates four train franchises including a coach company, airport and commuter shuttle bus services and bus companies in London, Surrey and Dundee.

To date each of its businesses have operated under a different name including Travel West Midlands and Travel Coventry.

But after conducting research with staff and customers, the idea for a new name and logo was developed.

As well as the name change, a new bus and coach livery featuring a new design was revealed yesterday by Richard Bowker, the chief executive of the National Express Group.

This design will now be seen on every company bus in the region.

At a launch event outside the Rep Theatre in Birmingham, Mr Bowker explained what the changes meant for the region. "The move to Birmingham is one of the key steps we are taking to realise our vision of Making Travel Simpler for customers," he said.

"Being one business and making integrated decisions means we can simplify the lives of those who travel with us.

"One of the first things we decided to do was to look at our brand identity as we want to create a brand that makes sense to our customers and is easily recognisable as National Express - whichever of our services they travel on.

"It is important to remember this is more than a change of brand name and logo, it is about how we do things."

According to National Express, about one billion journeys a year are made worldwide with the company.

"Our research shows it will make our customers' travel decisions simpler and it will benefit employees as they will be part of one of the biggest travel brands in the UK," Mr Bowker said.

"We know things like providing integrated ticketing options, joined up journeys and more flexible ways to book journeys are important to our customers. Within this new business we will be developing a range of new initiatives that to improve our product offering and to encourage people to leave their car at home and use public transport."

He said an integral part of the "Making Travel Simpler" campaign and the relocation of the headquarters to Birmingham was the integration of the bus and coach operations into one division based in the city and closer work across the train businesses.

National Express is now working on a series of initiatives to bring the businesses together.

Yesterday's launch will enable people who travel by bus to buy a Daysaver for £1.50 instead of £3 and all customers who hold a four-week Adult Travelcard will receive 10 per cent off the National Express coach network.