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No.19 • December 2012


2012 has been another successful year...

2013: The year to continue our winning ways


E started the year off on a great note with the acquisition of Northumberland Park garage in Tottenham. The garage became part of the Go-Ahead family very quickly and is now performing really well. In addition to it giving us a presence in a new area of London, the garage is producing some good QSI results. We coped really well during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics.There was an increase in traffic during this time, Roy Lambe from Stockwell was and we also had some contracts named Top London Bus Driver. to fulfil. These included the We have tendered for new work transportation of media, athletes and have lost some of our routes. and officials, along with delivering The net effect, however, is that the casts to and from the two we have gained more than we opening and closing ceremonies, have lost and that is our plan for which included the rehearsals. All 2013. We will be bidding for more in all, a really busy summer! Interestingly, the Olympics were the catalyst for the first strike we have had in 20 years – unfortunate, but the issue was resolved in the end and that’s the important thing. Overall, we have performed well during the year and this was reflected in the UK Bus Awards, held on November 20. I was delighted that Merton won London Bus Garage of the Year and that

contracts and whether these involve your garage or not, losing or gaining work affects us all in one way or another. Winning work gives us all job security and helps us remain competitive and this is the path that we want to take during 2013. This has been another successful year and I would like to thank you for your contribution and the vital role you have played in making that happen. May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy new year.



John Trayner Managing Director

We will be bidding for more contracts... losing or gaining work affects us all in one way or another



Veteran Vic is on awards shortlist THE BOROUGH of Merton has acknowledged the 46-year career of Vic Elmer by nominating him in its Civic Awards. Merton driver Vic, who is now 70, originally served in the Grenadier Guards with the army before becoming a driver at Sutton in 1966, moving to Merton six years later. At the time, drivers were paid only £14 a week, a seemingly tiny amount today, but this was enough for Vic to support his family and raise his children. Vic was originally nominated by his daughter in the ‘community’ category and will find out if he has been victorious when the event takes place in February 2013. The annual event was started to celebrate the excellent work done by individuals, groups and businesses across the borough. “I enjoy the job just as much now as when I first started. Driving has been very good to me,” said Vic. “Working as a driver for 46 years could be considered a bit of an achievement and it is lovely to have that recognised.” n Front page picture of Vic courtesy of South London Newspapers.

Forum to open for business THE OPEN forums, known as Meet the Directors, will resume at the start of next year. Since the events began back in 2011 they have been highly successful, with colleagues having the opportunity to raise any questions or bring up specific issues with the directors. New sessions, to be attended by managing director John Trayner and operations director David Cutts, are planned for 2013 and they urge all available staff to attend. Individual garages will be notified of times and dates of their next visit. 2

BusTalk l December 2012

Sindy settles in to her new Head Office role NEW DIRECTORS’ secretary Sindy Yeo is already an old hand to the role, having spent time in a number of similar positions. Sindy, who started on October 29, has worked for Reed Business Information and some smaller companies, as well as working for a head teacher in a school. Now that Sindy’s four children are grown up she says she has time for a full-time job, having worked parttime for the past four years. “My kids are a bit older now, so I have more time to dedicate to my job,” said Sindy. “So far I am settling in well, although at first it was a bit daunting with a lot of new terminology to learn! “I think it’s the kind of job where it takes a little time to get used to everything, but so far everyone has been extremely welcoming and I am really enjoying the job.”

Mid-route move to boost the 42


OUTE 42 has been moved from Camberwell to Mandela Way to boost performance. The service, which runs from Denmark Hill to Liverpool Street, often experienced severe delays and it was thought that a mid-route garage, Mandela Way, would be better placed. “Camberwell garage is situated at the end of the route and was not in the best location to help out with any delays on the road,” said general manager for service performance Gill Tynan. The route is in its primary assessment period but in the month that it has

been at Mandela Way, Go-Ahead London has achieved its target for the first time. “It is very much onwards and upwards for us. The drivers have

bought into the move and I am very optimistic that Go-Ahead London will be given the option to retain this route with a two-year contract extension,” said Gill.

All change: Route 42 has been moved to Mandela Way, which is better placed for the Denmark Hill to Liverpool Street service.

First Aid training put to test IT WAS like any other day at Camberwell garage in early October when fate would have it that an apparently healthy, young controller, John Kawesi, would suffer a sudden and serious heart attack. Fortunately, two members

of the Camberwell team were nearby and were able to provide chest compression to him while they waited for paramedics and the ambulance to arrive. The two men have had firstaid training and were able to keep John’s heart beating,

which doctors later said was vital in keeping him alive. Trained first aiders attend regular refresher courses and are retested every three years. The importance of CPR was highlighted in a TV campaign featuring Vinnie Jones.

Merton is voted simply the best! G

O-AHEAD London is celebrating a great set of results at the UK Bus Awards, which took place on November 20 at the London Hilton Hotel. Merton garage was awarded the prize of London Bus Garage of the Year for its impressive work over the past 12 months. The award was open to garages that operated buses on contract to London Bus Services Ltd, with performance and monitoring data used by TfL to compile a shortlist of garages

reaching high levels of recorded performance. “Winning the award shows just how hard we have been working at the garage,” said operating manager Hannah Self. “The trophy is already on display at Merton and I know all of my colleagues are really chuffed at the result. “Now that we have the trophy at our garage, I’m sure we will all be working extra hard to try and keep hold of it next year!” Cllr Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, visited Merton garage to

congratulate management and staff on their recent success at the UK Bus Awards. Councillor Alambritis was given a tour of the garage by Trevor Johnson (see photo on front page), who filled him with a wealth of knowledge and facts about the garage. “Merton is a good borough and this win just adds to its accomplishments,” said the impressed councillor. The second success of the day came in the Top London Bus Driver category, which was won by Stockwell driver Roy Lambe.

... And Roy reigns supreme in London Top driver Roy Lambe, right, with Stockwell general manager Colin Opher.

Top in London

Merton driver Scott Horney was also highly commended in the same category. The award was judged on a number of factors including mystery traveller reports, driving standard assessment reports, public commendations, driver monitoring assessments and accident records. “It’s brilliant to be recognised for my endeavours out on the road,” said Roy. “I am really pleased to have won, especially when there are so many excellent bus drivers on the roads in London.”

BELOW: Merton operating manager Hannah Self and Merton general manager Trevor Johnson.

Price the decider as company loses two routes IN the latest set of tender results, GoAhead London was unsuccessful in its bid to retain two of its routes. The routes in question are the 425, from Stratford to Clapton, and the N551, from Gallions Reach to Trafalgar Square – both presently run from Docklands depot. Route 425 will transfer on July 6 and

route N551 on August 31 to First London East and will be operated from its Lea Interchange depot. “We are quite disappointed to have been unsuccessful in the retention of these routes. The performance of both routes is excellent but unfortunately it came down to price,” said Docklands operating

manager Ted Dalton. “The N551 service was regularly at the top of the league table for night buses. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all of their hard work on these two services and encourage staff to keep up the high level of performance on all the other routes at Docklands garage.” BusTalk l December 2012


In our Face 2 Face column we chat to Abdul Zakaria, a lead driver at Belvedere. We asked Abdul eight lighthearted questions.

Q: What was your first car? A: A red Fiat Panda. A small, boxy hatchback. Q: Who would you most like to meet? A: Probably Gordon Brown. I like his ideas and I’d love to have a chat with him about them. Q: What’s the best thing about your job? A: Being able to supervise and take responsibility for the garage. Q: What would be your last meal? A: I’m a good cook – better than my wife – so I would cook myself a spaghetti bolognese. Q: What was your favourite subject at school? A: It was literature. I’ve always liked reading books, and I want to know what’s going on around the world. Q: What is your greatest achievement? A: Obtaining a degree in literature from the University of Ghana. Q: Who’s your favourite actor? A: It’s Chuck Norris, especially as Scott McCoy in The Delta Force! Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? A: I would make myself president of planet Earth – I like being the boss. 4

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Dedicated employees are VIPs at ‘magical’ awards ni G

O-AHEAD London celebrated the dedication and hard work of long-serving colleagues in a glittering ceremony held on November 23. The annual long service awards celebrate the commitment of staff who have served 25, 35 or 40 plus years with the company, and this year was equally as magical. All long-serving colleagues who have served more than 40 years are automatically invited to the awards.

The awards were held at the Croydo where attendees were treated to a di before the awards ceremony. Managing director John Trayner pai hard work and loyalty of long-serving while group engineering director Phil on hand to give out the awards. Directors’ secretary Valerie Clark an personnel manager Nita Patel acted evening and welcomed guests to the


the ight

on Park Hotel inner dance

id tribute to the g colleagues, l Margrave was

nd assistant as hosts for the e ceremony.

CONGRATULATIONS to the following on their milestone long service achievements;

25 Years

Paul Addley, Camberwell; Nigel Aimey, New Cross; Paula Beahan, New Cross; Geoffrey Breedon, Stockwell; Calvin Brown, Camberwell; Michael Brown, Stockwell; Larry Conte, Waterloo; John Crichton, New Cross; Neville Curnliffe, New Cross; John Geeves, Stockwell; Clifford Irvine, Bexleyheath; David Jackman, Merton; George Jennings, New Cross; Artur Klimkowicz, Blue Triangle; Ronald Ladd, Peckham; Gary Laws, Bexleyheath; Howard Lemon, Stockwell; Ian Lindsay, Merton; Robert Lucas, Putney; Albert Manning, New Cross;

The roll of honour Michael Mitchell, New Cross; John Moses, Camberwell; Steve Orr, Head Office; Rory Pearce, New Cross; Adrian Penaluna, Camberwell; Nigel Pike, New Cross; Charles Quinn, New Cross; John Ringwood, Merton; Peter Russell, Blue Triangle; Rodolfo Silva, Waterside Way; Gary Thomas, New Cross; Fitzroy Thompson, New Cross; James Wilkinson, New Cross; Frank Wilson, Stockwell; Keith

Wood, Recruitment.

35 Years

William Abbott, Stockwell; Robert Andrew, Peckham; Terry Ford, Peckham; Martin Fleming, Sutton; Peter Franklin, Driver Training; Frank Kelly, Stockwell; Stephen Lindley, Camberwell; Steven Matthews, Sutton; David O’Connor, Peckham; Bryan Pitt, Peckham; John Pritty, Head Office; Michael Reynolds, Putney; Roy Sayers, Head Office; Christopher Shaw, Putney; Raymond Sparkes, New Cross; Stewart Wilson, Driver Training.

40 Years

Frank Darch, Head Office; John Howard, Putney; Richard Hobson, Putney; Colin Welch, Stockwell. BusTalk l December 2012


Peckham pick up top spot


he Annual Go-Ahead London Risk Competition Celebration Dinner took place at The Vincent Rooms, Vincent Square, London on November 15, 2012. Special guests included Neil Meldrum, London Buses’ senior safety manager, Stephen King, Go-Ahead’s safety advisor, and Lorraine Nosworthy, key account manager for the Institute of Advanced Motorists. The competition, which focused on safety and environment, was running in garages for a number of months and the effort put in by the teams at each depot was remarkable. Despite fierce competition, Peckham were announced as the competition winners for 2012. The winning team comprised Patrice Bodie (team leader and driver), Diana Gasianceva (supervisor), Selma Siret, (driver),

Runners-up: Camberwell.

Ken Mitchell, (driver), Philip Husbands (driver) and Chris Burke (engineering manager). For their entry, the Peckham team made a video which they showed to staff. It highlighted some of the issues affecting passenger comfort. Their mentors ran competitions involving pre-service checks on vehicles and also provided information to drivers on reducing accidents on the P12 route in Ivydale Road, which is one of the hotspots for incidents. In the garage they carried out joint fire drills with the Southwark Council depot, with whom they share the yard, and also improved the safety of walkways during fuel deliveries. Camberwell was in second place with their entry, which covered driver distractions together with slips and trips in the garage.

The winners: Peckham.

COMMENDATIONS BLUE TRIANGLE n MS GANDOLFI has written in to thank Bastien Barban for “always making a point of saying hello” and for “treating the road and his passengers with great respect.” NEW CROSS n A DELIGHTED Miss Moy has praised Denise Gordon for “the great job she is doing.” Denise made sure Miss Moy was given a seat as she is pregnant – an act she described as “very kind and thoughtful.” NORTHUMBERLAND PARK n AN IMPRESSED customer has thanked Ackbar Abdool for helping a disabled passenger off the bus when his ramp would not operate. PECKHAM n LOVENA Simpson has 6

BusTalk l December 2012

been described “helpful and courteous” as well as “very welcoming” by Mr Strachan. He said he hopes she knows “how much some people appreciate the service she and her colleagues provide.” STOCKWELL n THE WAY Valerie Lucas dealt with her passengers when her bus was terminated has been praised by Ms Sobhi. The customer described her as ‘sociable, articulate, personable and able to relate to others’. WATERSIDE WAY n THE FRIENDLY and cheerful attitude of Gary Haslam has been described by Mr O’Callaghan as something that can “make a difference for the rest of the day.”

Northumberland Park was placed third as a result of their work on cyclist safety and waste reduction in the garage. The competition was judged by Andrew Smith, risk and safety manager, and Richard Harrington, engineering director, who visited all of the garages to meet with the teams to review their entries. Andrew Smith said: “All the teams put a lot of effort into their entries which resulted in real safety improvements and all those involved are being asked to continue with this work. Peckham actively involved staff at the garage in what they were doing, which was one of the key aims of the competition.” Well done to the Peckham team for winning the top award and for putting in plenty of hard work and effort into this year’s competition.

Third place: Northumberland Par k.

Police pay special tribute to crime-fighting CCTV teams IT’S said that crime never sleeps and seemingly nor do Go-Ahead London’s accident prevention teams as they work tirelessly every day to provide police with the vital CCTV footage they need to apprehend and arrest criminals. For their efforts, the teams at Stockwell, New Cross and Camberwell received awards at the Safer Transport Command OCU Commander’s Commendation Ceremony this November – a ceremony for police staff and their affiliates who have shown bravery, courage and commitment. Accident prevention managers and their assistants were presented with an award for their ‘commitment, professionalism and partnership work for operation KNAP’ – a special initiative to reduce crime on public transport and during the Olympic Games. Graham Oliver, accident

prevention manager (APM) at New Cross, said: “People don’t often realise that we work very closely with the police and have to work very hard to give them the footage they need, often within 24 hours.” Bernie Rajewski, APM at Camberwell, said: “We’re all proud to receive this award and get some recognition for the hard work we’ve done throughout the year. It’s not our first line of work but we still put it into our workload.” Cliff Frost, APM at Stockwell, is also proud of his team’s achievement. “Operation KNAP has been very hard work, without compensation. We’re delighted to be part of an initiative that reduces crime and incidents on buses, which makes our streets safer.”

Making moves on the career path...

Kevin’s on a quest for continual improvement N EW STOCKWELL engineering manager Kevin Fordyce says he is delighted to have joined the Go-Ahead London team. Kevin previously worked in engineering roles for the Abellio Group and even spent time working in California! While much of his time so far has been spent finding his feet, Kevin says he already has a few ideas in mind to introduce at Stockwell in the future. “Go-Ahead London is a great company to work for – my colleagues are fantastic and the facilities are excellent,” said Kevin. “So far, most of what I’ve been doing has been normal engineering work but I have also been looking at how we can improve health and safety. “In the future I am looking forward to

Welcome aboard: New Stockwell engineering manager Kevin Fordyce. continuing the good work already started at the garage and improving some of our engineering processes.”

Time well spent as Rob learns the ropes A FEW weeks spent working alongside senior garage administrators at Mandela Way, followed by a spell on the front counter, made Rob Conedera the perfect man to take on the same role at Belvedere. He spent a week and a half at Mandela Way in May learning all the ins and outs of the role and was then thrown in at the deep end. This made stepping into a similar position when the chance arrived at Belvedere

Rob Conedera. a smooth transition, with Rob having spent the previous four and a half years as a driver.

“I really wanted to further my career and becoming an SGA seemed like the best way to do that,” said Rob. “The time I spent shadowing at Mandela Way was great and has made my transition into the role so much easier. “I must pay gratitude to my colleagues left behind at Mandela Way on both sides of the counter and to operating manager Darren Barnden who put his trust and faith in me.”

Brian’s big day brings charity cash rolling in A FUN DAY organised by Merton driver Brian Sewell to raise money for The Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T) Society went off without a hitch at the Sir Philip Game Centre on September 8. In total, £2,200 was raised for the society, which helps, supports and advises families affected by A-T. Ataxia-Telangiectasia is a rare, neurodegenerative, inherited disease causing severe disability. Attractions available on the day included massages from trained professionals, football matches, plenty of food and drinks as well as the opportunity to own a Manchester United

shirt signed by player Rio Ferdinand and also a signed Chelsea FC shirt. The society is one close to Brian’s heart, following the diagnosis of his son with the condition earlier in the year. “This is the first bit of fundraising I have ever done and fortunately everything went really well,” said Brian. “Having a child who suffers from the illness has really opened my eyes to the issues involved with his and other people’s conditions. “The charity has been great and have even offered to come to the garage and talk about A-T, so I am really happy to be supporting it.”

Tender news from across London IN OUR regular column for Bus Talk, we highlight recent announcements made by Transport for London. First London East • Route N550 (Canning Town Station to Trafalgar Square) won from Stagecoach. Contract begins on August 31, 2013. Metroline • Retention of Route 143 (Brent Cross to Archway Station, school days), using existing double deck vehicles (3 PVR). • Retention of Route 643 (Brent Cross to East Finchley, school days), using existing double deck vehicles (2 PVR). • Retention of Route N5 (Trafalgar Square to Edgware). • Retention of Route N20 (Trafalgar Square to High Barnet). London United • Retention of Route 216 (Kingston to Staines) using existing single decks (9 PVR). • Loss of Route K1 (Kingston to New Malden) to Abellio using new single deck vehicles (9 PVR). • Retention of K2 (Kingston Hospital to Hook) using existing single deck buses (11 PVR). • Loss of K3 (Roehampton Vale to Esher) to Abellio, using new single deck buses (11 PVR). • Retention of Route K4 (Kingston Hospital to Mansfield Park Estate) using existing single deck vehicles (4 PVR). All London United contracts change on June 29, 2013. Arriva the Shires • Retention of Route 268 (Golders Green to Finchley Road Station) using existing single deck buses (7 PVR). Contract begins on June 8, 2013. …and in other news Go-Ahead London’s 132 route has also been converted to double deck operation as one of the legacies of the Olympics Games. Following the increasing number of passengers and high levels of demand, the route, which travels from North Greenwich to Bexleyheath and is operated by Bexleyheath garage, switched from single deck to double deck vehicles for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. At the request of TfL, the route was converted to double deck vehicles permanently using buses transferred from Merton garage. This was introduced on 1 December. BusTalk l December 2012



A smiley character who will be missed by all IT IS with deep sadness that we share the news that Sutton’s driver and former union rep John Doyle passed away in the early hours of Saturday, November 10. A much-loved son, brother and father, John started with

the company at Merton in 1975. In 2000, John joined Sutton garage as the union secretary and was very active with the Trade Union. He also carried out commercial duties, which involved using a megaphone

while selling tickets for Wimbledon tennis and the Derby. John had friends throughout the company and was a smiley character who will be sorely missed. “He was a very popular man

in the company, well-known and liked by all. He was one of the few characters in Sutton who was known throughout GoAhead London,” said Mark Cambridge, operating manager at Sutton garage.

Big cats team up to help charity abroad N

OT CONTENT with just organising football tournaments in England, Scott Horney has also been getting involved in them abroad. Merton driver Scott, joined by other colleagues from Merton and Peckham, travelled to Baden-Baden to take part in a tournament raising money for a homeless charity. The teams representing Go-Ahead London were named the Merton Lions and the Peckham Panthers, with both teams reaching the quarter-finals. In total, £1,000 was raised for charity including a £300 donation from the two Merton Lions, above, and Peckham Panthers with travelling teams. trophies presented to each team that took part in the tournament. Friends

“We have done our own charity football tournaments in the past and our friends in Germany liked the idea so much they decided to do it, too,” said Scott. “It was an absolutely fantastic weekend. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and plenty of money was raised.” Scott himself has also reached something of a milestone, having completed the Run to the Beat half-marathon and raising £700. This now brings Scott’s fundraising total to more than £20,000 over the past six years – an incredible achievement.

A lasting tribute...


BusTalk l December 2012

A PLAQUE to commemorate the life of Carlos Foster was unveiled at Sutton garage in a ceremony on December 5. Carlos, who worked as a satellite manager at both Sutton and Stockwell garages, was killed in a tragic accident while working in September 2010. The plaque was erected in his memory and the

ceremony was attended by his wife, two daughters, brother and nephew, along with former colleagues from both garages. Managing director John Trayner was also at the ceremony and he paid tribute to Carlos. He said: “A memorial plaque lives forever, it will not tarnish, erase or be forgotten, just like Carlos.”

Well done to our winners CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of Go-Ahead London’s exciting email iPad competition! Colleagues were asked to name Paddington Bear’s favourite sandwich filling and sent their answers in via email. The winners are: n First place – Gary Gale from Camberwell, who won an iPad. n Second place – Lawrence Stephenson from Merton, who won an iPhone 4S. n Third place – Ali Farah from Peckham, who won £250. The answer was, of course, marmalade. Thank you to everyone who entered this competition!

Got a story? If so, why not get in touch? We at Bus Talk are always on the lookout for interesting articles about our readers, so give us a call on 01932 243400 or email us at go-ahead@

Published by Go-Ahead London. Produced by Ruxley Communications, Walton-on-Thames. Printed by Evolve Print Solutions, Rickmansworth.

Bus Talk - Issue 19 - December 2012  
Bus Talk - Issue 19 - December 2012  

Bus Talk Issue 19