Guy Watts from GWR

Hello Great West Way Ambassador! Please introduce yourself: 
I'm Guy Watts, Fares Implementation Manager, Major Projects at Great Western Railway.

Tell us a little more about what you do on the Great West Way:
I have worked with Great West Way over the last 3 years to propose and create the biggest Multi-Modal rover ticket in the UK, the Great West Way Discoverer Pass. The ticket is the key to the Great West Way and includes unlimited Off-Peak travel on both GWR and SWR rail services and unlimited travel on local bus routes within the scheme. It was my job to ensure the product can be retailed via all channels and be compliant with the fares regulation which the rail industry must abide by. Now that the product is live and available for sale it is my role to ensure that the public transport side of things work, and that the product continues to sell and become successful in the future. 

What do you love most about your job? 
The best thing about my job is that my portfolio of products are successful and help to reevaluate rail travel in the hearts and minds of the travelling public. This is helped when long term plans become reality. 

How did you get started? Has it been a long journey, getting to where you are today? 
I started on the railway in 2010 by becoming an on-board host, then in 2012 I became a ticket examiner to assist with the London 2012 Games. I later became a shunter based at Oxford and for the last 4 years I have been the Fares Implementation Manager dealing with major projects based in Swindon.

What achievements are you most proud of?
Over the last 4 years I have helped GWR transform large parts of our network, over that time I have ensured that we continue to try new things. The implementation of The Great West Way Discoverer ticket is one of those achievements which I have seen from day one right up until implementation and now customers using the ticket.

What’s a typical day like for you?
No day is typical in my role, one day I can be answering emails and carrying out essential fares related updates, the next I could be out on the network working with frontline colleagues and making sure the products I am responsible for are doing what they should be.

What do you find inspiring day-to-day? What keeps the enthusiasm going?

The most inspiring thing about my role is that the work I do can have a massive effect on customers' day to day behavior and this will also affect the way in which my colleagues go about their own roles out on the frontline.

What do you think makes the Great West Way special?
The greatest thing about the Great West Way is that its on my own doorstep and that the local area to me is highlighted and is shown as being “open for business”. There are small communities that are being brought together and in doing so the opportunities for the area in general become bigger and better.  

Do you have any insider tips or advice for travellers who want to experience the touring route ‘like a local’? 
The best way to see the Great West Way is to go off the beaten track and use some of the bus links that take you away from the major tourist attractions. There are many hidden gems to be found and using public transport is the best way to do so.

What’s your favorite thing to eat or drink along the touring route? 
For me there is nothing better than finding a local pub that does a proper Sunday Lunch. If the weather is right, you cant beat a good beer garden.

Are you a city, town or country person? 
Living in Oxford I am suited to being around the hussle and bustle but there is nothing better than going out into the countryside and not having to deal with people rushing around and just having your own space.

Is there a place along the Great West Way that best represents you and what you do?
For me it must be the Uffington White Horse, on a good day you can see many county boundaries to which The Great West Way encompass.

What’s your preferred mode of transport: train, car, bus or boat? Why?
I'd be biased if I said train! However all public transport links give the best representation of the area.

Any exciting plans you’d like to share?
I'm very excited to be playing my part in the new timetable which will be launched on Sunday 15 December – this will be the biggest timetable change since 1976!

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