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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Centro triumphs at transport Oscars

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A cartoon character created by transport authority Centro as part of a campaign to encourage children to travel in an environmentally friendly way has won a top industry award.

Green transport mascot Theo toured the West Midlands during the summer starring in a series of fun-packed family events laid on by Centro, who also offered families cut price admission to top attractions if they travelled by public transport.

The successful Network West Midlands Theo Summer Campaign has now been formally recognised after winning the Travel Information and Marketing title at this year’s National Transport Awards, widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the transport industry.

Centro chairman Cllr Angus Adams, who received the award along with Marketing Manager Julia Lameris and Marketing Executive Rinku Banerjee at the London Lancaster Hotel on Thursday October 6, said:

“I am extremely proud of the work Centro has done over the past year and delighted that we have won this award.

“It is deserved recognition of the hard work and imagination of our marketing team in creating Theo and the Summer marketing campaign. Theo is well loved by children across the West Midlands and he has proved hugely successful in helping children understand the importance of travelling in a green way.”

Some of the region’s top attractions including the National Sea Life Centre, Dudley Zoological Gardens, Cadbury World and the Lighthouse Cinema teamed up with Theo to offer discounted admission prices during the campaign.

All people had to do was show a valid Network West Midlands nnetwork daytripper or nbus one day ticket with a voucher from the summer travel guide to get cut-price entry.

Children also met Theo at Network West Midlands summer events staged at several parks across the region and featuring free music and sporting activities for children and pampering sessions for parents.

Theo also features in Centro’s award winning Letzgogreen educational website, where a series of similar colourful characters star in animated cartoon strips, games and puzzles.

The website, which is linked to the school curriculum, has been designed to show children how to travel in an environmentally friendly way by bus, train, bike or foot, as well as how to be streetwise and behave responsibly on the transport network.

Judges at the awards ceremony, which included a keynote speech by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, heard how the Theo Summer Campaign had resulted in an 87% increase in visits to the www.letzgogreen.org website, a 40% increase in sales of child nbus tickets, a 27% rise in adult tickets and a 12% increase in Network daytripper family tickets.

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