THE BIG BOOK OF BIG WINNERS 2017
A welcome message from Mark Yexley, Chairman of the UK Bus Awards
very warm welcome to the 2017 UK Bus Awards and this year’s edition of The Big Book of Winners. I would like to start by paying tribute to my predecessor, Tony Depledge, for all his efforts over the last three years and for giving me the chance to take over the baton. It is a difficult act to follow, because Tony brings a degree of elegance and polish to proceedings which is unique to him. He also likes to add in a classical flourish or two. The one I recall from our conversation about taking on the UKBA role was “Pro Bono” as in “Well, you do realise it is a Pro Bono position”…translated from the Latin means “for the public good “or in Tony’s native Yorkshire: “It pays nowt”. In truth I needed little persuading because, having left behind 36 very enjoyable years with London Transport and Arriva, the only two events I knew I would miss horribly were the CPT dinner in January and the UKBA in November. Both events are great occasions and a fabulous way of staying in touch. In the case of the UKBA it runs deeper because the awards really matter. I have sat in the audience many times experiencing the agony and the ecstasy. You have the Atlanta moments - one solitary award, so back you go to try harder next year. You have the John McEnroe “you cannot be serious” moments as the award which had your name on it goes elsewhere. And you may have had the basking in the glory experience - if you are good enough. More seriously, I have seen how much it means to those who suddenly find themselves in the spotlight. Everyone appreciates this, which is all part of the
powerful emotions generated by the event. So what has a year’s chairing of the UKBA taught me? First, organising an event like this is a big job. Just finding the right venue is a challenge. You may recall we had to quit the Hilton. And then the Waterloo pop up venue was always a bit of a Marmite choice. Hopefully we have found a new and enduring home at the Troxy. I have a deep respect for the effort which goes into the judging. We had over 250 entries this year. If you read through them all, the vast majority left you impressed, so to end up being shortlisted at the end of all that is a fine achievement - never mind if you then manage to pick up one of the medals. Everyone at the Awards ceremony will have made an impression on one of the six judging panels. We have over 40 judges who have given up their time to come down to London – because the UKBA matters to them too. They are the wily old birds from the industry who have worn most of the T-shirts. They are representatives of manufacturers, consumer bodies, the media and of our sponsors, so they are a very broad mix. And their views are supported by a band of mystery shoppers. They test whether a driver really does have outstanding customer service skills or the charisma of a tombstone. And mentioning sponsors brings me onto another lesson learned. Frankly without sponsors there would be no UKBA or, at least, a very much shrunken down version. I know that it is so easy to put a line through sponsorship along with the training and marketing budgets when money is tight and so I would invite you to clock the names of the organisations on the banners for whom the UKBA also matters to the extent of 3
continuing that vital support. Keeping the UKBA relevant and forward looking is a challenge given they are in their 22nd year. When they started in 1996 mobile phones were bricks, there was no broadband, no Apps, and emails were pretty thin on the ground too. So you just know that everything will change as radically over the next two decades. We need to keep pace. So why have the UKBA? It is simple: we need to use every way we can find to demonstrate to a wider world what we can do. Without that we will always struggle to win over the political support to take the bold decisions to really influence issues like congestion. That wider world is not well informed. Top of that list in 2017 would be the former transport minister who was most surprised, indeed staggered, to learn that the bulk of the country’s services run on a commercial basis and not on London style contracts. He was being briefed on the contents of the Bus Services Bill at the time. We also need to show ourselves what is possible too. We have talked about “recognising and rewarding” as part of the UKBA mantra. But “inspiring” is also crucial. There are some great ideas and initiatives out there and if the UKBA plays even the smallest part in encouraging others to adopt them, then that would be a fine result. I don’t need to labour the point about how challenging an environment we work in. However big the challenges, the bus industry always rises to them, but those with the best operations, the most innovative ideas and initiatives and the greatest depth of talent will always win through. Please draw handsomely on the contents of the Big Book of Big Winners to see how others have done it.
for our winners at the UK Bus Awards Congratulations to the whole Arriva UK Bus team. Weâ€™re proud to have you on board. GOLD AWARDS BUS AND THE COMMUNITY NEW HORIZONS UNSUNG HERO LONDON BUS GARAGE OF THE YEAR
Commitment to Luton, Arriva Midlands, Luton Depot ArrivaClick, Arriva UK Bus Chris Leonti, Arriva London Brixton, Arriva London South
SILVER AWARDS TOP NATIONAL BUS DEPOT Shrewsbury, Arriva Midlands ENGINEER OF THE YEAR Paul Hickinbottom, Arriva Midlands TOP LONDON BUS DRIVER Helen Webster, Arriva London
BRONZE AWARDS BUS AND THE COMMUNITY Dementia Awareness, Arriva Midlands, Telford Depot ENGINEER OF THE YEAR Colin Close, Arriva North East
SPECIAL COMMENDATIONS UNSUNG HERO Lynne Nappin, Arriva Midlands UNSUNG HERO Neil Roughton, Arriva Midlands
FINALISTS BUS AND THE COMMUNITY THE PETER HUNTLEY MEMORIAL AWARD MARKETING INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR TOP CITY OPERATOR TOP NATIONAL BUS DEPOT ENGINEER OF THE YEAR TOP NATIONAL BUS DRIVER TOP NATIONAL BUS DRIVER TOP NATIONAL BUS DRIVER YOUNG MANAGER OF THE YEAR TOP LONDON BUS DRIVER
Payroll Giving, Arriva London Arriva Busway Services, Arriva Midlands Get Your Ride On, Arriva UK Bus Arriva Merseyside Luton, Arriva Midlands Peter Graybrook, Arriva Midlands Sean Thomas, Arriva Midlands Neil Atherton, Arriva North West and Wales Brett Haskett, Arriva Midlands Paul Hickinbottom, Arriva Midlands Clement Grant, Arriva London
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL AWARDS
ABOUT THE UK BUS AWARDS
Leadership & Inspiration Award
21 OPERATIONS AWARDS
Bus Operator of the Year
Top City Operator
Top Shire Operator
New Horizons Award
Making Buses a Better Choice: The Peter Huntley Memorial Award
Bus and the Community Award
Top Independent Operator
Top National Bus Depot
Young Manager of the Year
Award for Innovation in Road Safety
Unsung Heroes Award
London Bus Garage of the Year Luke Rees-Pulley Charitable Trust Award for Top London Bus Driver
Judging the UK Bus Awards
Reflecting on the UK Bus Awards
Engineer of the Year
Putting Passengers First Award
Top National Bus Driver: The Chris Moyes Memorial Award
Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year
The Award for Sustained Marketing Excellence
Services to the Industry
UK BUS AWARDS 2017 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman: Mark Yexley Directors: Jamie Cash, Chris Cheek, Allan Edmondson Director of Sales: Steve Cresswell Secretary: Michael Anderson MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Convenor of Judges: John Owen obe Members: James Freeman (First Bus), Andrew Garnett (Passenger Transport), Alan Hill (ATCO), Alex Hornby (Transdev), John Miller (ROSCO), Ray Stenning (Best Impressions), Claire Walters (Bus Users UK) and Trevor Whelan (CILT UK).
Accountants: The Shepherd Partnership Administration: Pat Gibson and Margaret Harrison (Admin24) Event Catering: Party Ingredients Event Production: Paul Ashlee (Awesome Events) and the team and Troxy, London Press and PR: Chloe Leach-O'Connell (Leach-O'Connell Consultancy) Video: Paul Broadie (Manto Films) PRODUCTION
The UK Bus Awards 2017 - The Big Book of Big Winners - has been produced by Passenger Transport. 5
Designer: Keith Simpson (email@example.com) Distribution: Courtesy of Bus and Coach Buyer, BUSES, Coach & Bus Week, Passenger Transport. This publication and the UK Bus Awards logo is copyright Â© The Bus Industry Awards 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. The Bus Industry Awards Ltd, organisers of the UK Bus Awards, Rossholme, West End, Long Preston, Skipton, North Yorkshire bd23 4ql Telephone: 0300 010 3450 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ukbusawards.org.uk
Responsible. Sustainable. Successful. Our recipe for success: The UKâ€™s best value fares High customer satisfaction levels Major digital investment A focus on safety and engineering Investment in our people and training Millions invested annually in new buses Committed to providing greener, smarter travel.
UK BUS AWARDS 2017 Congratulations to all of our employees
recognised at the 2017 UK Bus Awards: Stagecoach East Scotland
Silver Award - Top Shire Operator
Bronze Award - Making Buses a Better Choice
Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire
Bronze Award - Top City Operator
Bronze Award - Marketing Initiative of the Year
Mark Mageean, Stagecoach Manchester
Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire
Silver Award - Young Manager of the Year
Silver Award - Sustained Marketing Excellence
Stuart Roughley, Stagecoach Manchester
Stagecoach East Scotland
Special Commendation for Outstanding Service - Unsung Heroes
Bronze Award - Sustained Marketing Excellence Stagecoach London, Barking Garage
Stagecoach West Scotland
Silver Award - Buses in the Community
Bronze Award - London Bus Garage of the Year
Jesse Norman, the minister responsible for buses in England, wants to see the sector working together to grow patronage
n astonishing 4.53 billion journeys were made by bus in England in 2016/17. As this reminds us, buses are a fundamental part of travel every day for millions of people. Buses help commuters get to work, students to school and shoppers to the High Street. They help people, wherever they are, to enjoy a wide range of services and leisure opportunities. The benefits of a reliable and innovative bus service are clear: less congestion, greater productivity and connected communities rather than isolated individuals. The government’s role is to provide local authorities and operators with the tools they need to increase bus patronage and improve services. The Bus Services Act, which received Royal Assent in April, presents operators with distinct opportunities to bring about change and unlocks the potential for the bus industry to achieve more for passengers. The new powers within the Act provide the framework for innovative new possibilities. Bus services should be accessible to everyone but, for many, a lack of just-in-time information can be a deterrent to travel. Regulations made under the new open data provisions and ticketing powers should make it easier for passengers to use buses, move between different modes of transport and access timetables, fares and routes. 7
Buses also play a significant part in helping the UK tackle air quality problems, meet our increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emissions targets and reduce congestion in our towns and cities. By encouraging more people to use the bus, we can reduce the number of cars on our roads. If the bus used is a low emission vehicle, the benefit is even greater. Through schemes such as the Green Bus Fund and Low Emission Bus scheme, the Government has provided local authorities and bus operators with c. £120m since 2009 to help put low emission buses on our roads. The 2016 Autumn Statement provided a further £100m to be spent on these over the next four years: £60m has been allocated to the Low Emission Bus Scheme to support the purchase of new buses, and £40m to the Clean Bus Technology Fund to assist with the cost of retrofitting older buses with new, clean technology. We all want to see the progress we have achieved so far continue into the future. Through effective collaboration between the bus industry and the government, our aspiration is to increase passenger numbers and improve bus services across the country. It is important we continue to listen to passengers and tailor services accordingly, where appropriate, to ensure taking the bus is more often than not, the preferred option. That’s what the UK Bus Awards are all about.
Congratulations to all the Finalists and Winners at the UK Bus Awards BUS OPERATOR OF THE YEAR
TOP CITY OPERATOR
Go South Coast *
Brighton & Hove
Brighton & Hove BRONZE
Lothian Buses BRONZE
Stephensons of Essex *
TOP SHIRE OPERATOR
TOP INDEPENDENT OPERATOR
Go South Coast *
Stephensons of Essex *
Stagecoach East Scotland
Prentice Coaches *
Oxford Bus Company *
Ensign Bus *
* Ticketer operator
UK BUS OPERATOR OF THE YEAR
This is the ‘grand prix’ of the UK Bus Awards. Pre-eminent amongst bus operators in the UK, the UK Bus Operator of the Year, more than any other, delivers consistently excellent customer service and demonstrates its success through sustained effort over the long term. The crème-dela-crème, the UK Bus Operator of the Year is selected from the highest-scoring contestants in the awards for Top Independent Operator, Top Shire Operator and Top City Operator.
2 1. Go South Coast 2. Stephensons of Essex 3. Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company
GO SOUTH COAST
Go Ahead Group-owned Go South Coast comprises morebus, serving Bournemouth and Poole; Reds, providing services for Salisbury and Wiltshire; Bluestar in Southampton and South Hampshire; Southern Vectis covering the Isle of Wight; Thamesdown in Swindon and Damory in parts of Dorset and Hampshire. Across all brands, passenger growth has been above 13% over the last five years, demonstrating consistent growth. Significantly this has come from within the pre-existing businesses rather than acquisitions. Contactless payments are being rolled out across the networks, in addition to accepting the Key smartcard and cash. USB charging and Wi-Fi is available on most of the fleet and next stop audio announcements should cover all vehicles by the end of the year. Customers also benefit from real time information and route planning with Google Maps on smartphones, but all timetables are also available online and in print. Already a worthy winner of the Gold Award for Top Shire Operator, Go South Coast impressed the judges in so many areas, not least in achieving an outstanding mystery traveller score. This tipped the balance in their favour in an extremely tight contest.
BRIGHTON & HOVE BUS AND COACH COMPANY
Go-Ahead Group’s Brighton & Hove has continued to innovate, reflecting it’s ability to buck the national trend with a 2% growth in passengers every year. The company believes that its sales and use of mTickets are probably the highest in the UK with the equivalent of half of the city’s population downloading the app. Brighton & Hove led a multi-operator ticketing scheme in the city and is the only bus company in the country with a dedicated Accessibility Officer and a taxi guarantee scheme for passengers in a wheelchair who cannot board a bus for any reason. This, along with its Helping Hand customised high visibility card that tells the driver about a passenger’s specific needs, and its work with Guide Dogs UK, have been nationally recognised. Brighton & Hove has next-stop audio and visual announcements and free Wi-Fi across the entire fleet, and is just skirting 100% for USB charge points at every seat. The significant improvement to services since last year was just one of the reasons that pushed Brighton & Hove into the Silver Winner position, having already been declared the Top City Operator this year. 9
STEPHENSONS OF ESSEX
Stephensons is the largest independent operator in Essex, with a significant presence in Suffolk, operating from six main depots over a wide geographical region. It is the main network operator in very few of these areas making stakeholder relations challenging. However, members of the management team attend meetings of the main local bus user groups, the regular Transport Representatives Meetings held in each Essex district, and the MD is a member of the Essex Bus Strategy Board. Just under 50% of the company’s operations are run on behalf of either Suffolk or Essex County Councils. All contracts in both counties are now awarded 100% on price, but notwithstanding this challenge, the company has continued to invest heavily in vehicles, route branding, staff, technology and communication. Its successful philosophy is to operate small depots with small teams of friendly drivers delivering reliable services, with minimal layers of bureaucracy, supervision and management, coupled with an ability to respond swiftly to opportunities where they arise. A worthy Gold Winner of the Top Independent Operator category, Stephensons impressed by getting the basics right.
TOP CITY OPERATOR
3 1. Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company 2. Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company 3. Stagecoach Manchester 4. Lothian Buses 5. Arriva Merseyside 6. National Express West Midlands 7. Stagecoach Manchester
BRIGHTON & HOVE BUS AND COACH COMPANY
This award is open to operators of registered bus services based in, or operating wholly or mainly in, the city region areas and other major cities with populations of more than 250,000.
Brighton & Hove has continued to innovate, reflecting in its ability to buck the national trend with a 2% growth in passengers every year. The company believes that its sales and use of mTickets are probably the highest in the UK with the equivalent of half of the city’s population downloading the app. Brighton & Hove led a multi-operator ticketing scheme in the city and is the only bus company in the country with a dedicated Accessibility Officer and a taxi guarantee scheme for passengers in a wheelchair who cannot board a bus for any reason. This, along with its Helping Hand customised high visibility card that tells the driver about a passenger’s specific needs, and its work with Guide Dogs UK, have been nationally recognised. Brighton & Hove has next-stop audio and visual announcements and free Wi-Fi across the entire fleet, and is just skirting 100% for USB charge points at every seat. The company is moving forward with initiatives that put people first - customers and employees - to make the bus more attractive, reduce delays and emissions, encourage bus loyalty and keep the city moving. 10
The judges praised the company for a well written entry that demonstrated Brighton & Hove’s transformed industrial relations and much improved performance since last year. Strong patronage and growth in an already saturated market was impressive, as is the company’s empathetic use of social media, which is staffed throughout the night. The judges considered this a very worthy Gold Winner. SILVER WINNER
Lothian was the first operator in Scotland to offer real time service information on Google Maps, starting last year, after which the company re-designed its travel app with new features including departure times and the ability to share journeys on social media. Last year also saw £6m invested in 22 new Euro 6, high specification double deckers. In the previous year, an additional two million passenger journeys were made. Lothian’s service improvements were noted by the judges, as was its ability to make profitable routes where other operators had failed. It was good to see that Lothian operates its social media channels throughout the night and that company profits were up.
Stagecoach Manchester employs almost 2,400 staff and has invested £122m in new vehicles over the past 10 years, including the introduction of 53 new Euro 6 double deck buses last year. Contactless payment facilities are available across the whole fleet and account for 9% of on-bus transactions, a figure that is steadily increasing, alongside mTickets and cash. Most of the fleet has free Wi-Fi and new buses have USB charging. Over 10 million Wi-Fi sessions were recorded last year, a 42% increase on the previous year. A new mobile app offers journey planning, live bus information enabling passengers to track their bus in real time, and mTickets. New routes, good value fares and the introduction of some new vehicles all found favour with the judges. FINALIST
Arriva Merseyside is a company with heart and passion, which puts people - both employees and customers - at the heart of all they do. A close-knit management team inspires confidence and good morale
at each individual site. Operating across six garages covering Liverpool city centre, Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton and St Helens, Arriva Merseyside carries over 80 million passenger journeys a year with a fleet of over 600 buses, including hybrid and fully electric vehicles, with features such as USB ports and free Wi-Fi. Reliability has been significantly improved with the introduction of on bus radios allowing drivers and depots to immediately communicate information about diversions and delays. A regular coffee morning is held at each depot to serve as an information exchange with drivers, providing an opportunity to communicate ideas for improvement, issues and generally cascade information. Employee surveys are undertaken to appreciate what is going well and what needs to be improved going forward. ‘You Said, We Did’ feedback is produced to communicate to all employees how their views have influenced the service. Everyone in the Arriva Merseyside team pulls in the same direction and there is a real sense of pride in the service with customer care being paramount. Arriva Merseyside’s good employee relations with trade union learning reps and an active social club were picked out by the judges as being especially good. 11
NATIONAL EXPRESS WEST MIDLANDS
In 2015 National Express West Midlands introduced 60 Platinum Euro 6 double deckers with Wi-Fi, extra leg room and comfortable seats, resulting in a 94% customer satisfaction level and all Platinum routes performing 13% better than before the new vehicles were introduced. This success prompted NXWM to invest in a further 96 Platinum vehicles last year. In March this year, the company launched the UK’s first onbus infotainment system offering films, TV, news and magazines online, completely free. In June, NXWM began installing new ticket machines on its 1,600 buses which will accept payments via contactless bank cards and smartphones, as well as cash and Swift smartcards. The machines are due to be on all buses by the end of the year, allowing the company to become the first major urban bus operator outside London to offer daily fare capping from the start of next year. The judges were pleased to see that NXWM was still an active player in the strong West Midlands Bus Alliance and noted the company’s continued improvement over the past five years.
TOP SHIRE OPERATOR
The award for operators in the shire areas of the UK, covering all areas outside our major cities.
GO SOUTH COAST
Go South Coast describes itself as “the company that people want to work for, travel with and use”! Go South Coast comprises, morebus, serving Bournemouth and Poole; Reds, providing services for Salisbury and Wiltshire; Bluestar in Southampton and South Hampshire; Southern Vectis covering the Isle of Wight; Thamesdown in Swindon, and Damory in parts of Dorset and Hampshire. Across all brands, passenger growth has been above 13% over the last five years, demonstrating consistent growth. Significantly this has come from within the pre-existing businesses rather than acquisitions. Contactless payments are being rolled out across the networks, in addition to accepting the Key smartcard and cash. USB charging and Wi-Fi is available on most of the fleet and next stop audio announcements
should cover all vehicles by the end of the year. Customers also benefit from real time information and route planning with Google Maps on smartphones, but all timetables are also available online and in print. With a diverse range of services across the region, Go South Coast impressed the judges with its smooth takeover of Thamesdown services and consistent passenger growth across all its brands over the past five years. Go South Coast’s excellent social media interaction was also noted, and contributed to making it an all round impressive operator, and a worthy Gold Winner. SILVER WINNER
STAGECOACH EAST SCOTLAND
Stagecoach East Scotland carries almost 35 million passengers per year, has 1,300 employees and a fleet of over 460 vehicles. The operator runs a mixture of town and rural 12
routes as well as the Express City Connect network of high specification coaches. The company is one of the largest bus operators in Scotland, using strong working partnerships with local stakeholders to ensure service improvements and continual network development with effective results. Consistent growth in passenger numbers has led to increases of frequency and influenced the purchase of new, state-of-the-art vehicles with a higher capacity to cater for demand. In fact the list of investment in new vehicles is quite extensive, including 18 electric hybrid double deckers for Dundee, seven more for Angus, 12 Plaxton Elite coaches for the Edinburgh - St Andrews route, and 19 new single deck buses on the Ballingry to Rosyth corridor. There has also been significant investment in ticketing and route planning technology. The judges liked this well written entry and noted that both the company’s urban and inter-urban services were well marketed and
continued to expand. They were also pleased to see continued investment in new vehicles, which has no doubt helped the operator’s continued success. BRONZE WINNER
OXFORD BUS COMPANY
Having been part of Oxfordshire for over 135 years, Go-Ahead Group-owned Oxford Bus Company continues to grow and adapt to its market, whilst maintaining a strong connection to the local community it serves. In what has been a year of substantial upheaval in the city centre due to the redevelopment of its largest shopping centre, the company has continued to invest in its fleet, technology and colleagues, putting into practice its positive outlook for the future. There has been a £6.5m investment in 30 new Streetdeck double deckers with next-stop audiovisual systems and a further £1.1m to replace all ticket machineswith state-of-the-art units including contactless payment, barcode scanning and other customer and driver conveniences. The company has also spent £1m on a new city centre travel shop and customer lounge. The judges were pleased to note the investment in new vehicles with audiovisual next stop announcement and that the company continues to deliver a good service. They also noted that the Managing Director is on the Local Enterprise Partnership, something that more bus operators should aspire to.
1. Go South Coast 2. Go South Coast 3. Oxford Bus Company 4. Oxford Bus Company 5. Stagecoach East Scotland 6. Blackpool Transport Services
BLACKPOOL TRANSPORT SERVICES
Blackpool Transport Services runs both the tram and bus networks in the resort. Previously operations were run along very traditional lines which the operator felt was holding back growth. Its change programme is far from complete, but there has been a leap forward in managerial attitudes such as its willingness to engage with customers to root out problems in operations and work on improvements. Bus patronage had been in decline in Blackpool for many years, but innovations such as the 24 hour ticket has turned around the decline, as has the introduction of Palladium branded buses. The first batch featured free Wi-Fi, leather seats, wooden effect floors. Group seating with three tables on the upper deck was added to the specification and a further 20 vehicles are on order with two information screens and hand grips on each seat. This brand now constitutes 40% of the fleet and the expectation is that these will be used across the whole fleet by March 2021. Revenue on the routes with new vehicles has risen by 2%. The judges noted that lots of new initiatives were underway and look forward to seeing their impact in future years.
TOP INDEPENDENT OPERATOR
1. Prentice Coaches 2. Stephensons of Essex 3. Stephensons of Essex 4. Ensign Bus Company 5. Central Buses 6. Marshalls of Sutton on Trent
STEPHENSONS OF ESSEX
Stephensons is the largest independent operator in Essex, with a significant presence in Suffolk, operating from six main depots over a wide geographical region. It is the main network operator in very few of these areas making stakeholder relations challenging. However, members of the management team attend meetings of the main local bus user groups, the regular Transport Representatives Meetings held in each Essex district, and the MD is a member of the Essex Bus Strategy Board. The company has signed up to a Punctuality Improvement Partnership in Suffolk, and is in the final stages of agreeing a similar document in Essex. Just under 50% of the companyâ€™s operations are operated on behalf of either Suffolk or Essex County Councils, including conventional contracts but also de minimis agreements and scholars ticket purchases. All contracts in both counties are now awarded 100% on price, but notwithstanding this challenge, the company has continued to invest heavily in vehicles, route branding, staff, technology and communication. The companyâ€™s successful philosophy is to operate small depots with
small teams of friendly drivers delivering reliable services, with minimal layers of bureaucracy, supervision and management, coupled with an ability to respond swiftly to opportunities where they arise. The judges noted that Stephensons is a good example of an operator that is getting the basics right and providing a good service for its customers. The company has successfully picked up routes where other operators have failed and the judges commented that services in Bury St Edmunds seemed to be running particularly well. SILVER WINNER
Prentice Coaches is a family owned and run bus and coach operator based in Haddington, the county town of East Lothian in south east Scotland. Established in 1991 as Don Prentice Coaches, originally and primarily a coach operator, it has also run bus services for most of that time and gradually expanded this side of the operation until it now accounts for over 60% of the business. Prentice Coaches is a forward thinking innovative company (it introduced live bus tracking in early 2013) that believes in running modern eco-friendly 14
buses, kept in immaculate condition. It couples this with an old fashioned customer care ethos delivered by staff who take immense pride in delivering 21st century transport to its community. The company is not afraid to diversify and look for new opportunities, and it is a matter of some pride that in every single trading year the business has made a profit. Prentice also has a sense of duty to the local community, stepping in several times at short notice to replace essential local services cancelled by the previous operator. It did so again in August this year, on a commercial basis, when no other operator was prepared to replace a service withdrawn by one of the major groups. It has taken those failing services, and by running new, attractive vehicles which are driven by people who take great pride in their job, turned them around and made them profitable and substantially increased passenger numbers. The judges commented that Prentice Coaches punches well above its weight, offering its customers free Wi-Fi, developing its own app and having a very effective social media presence. They were pleased to see the company take over routes abandoned by other operators at short notice and turning them around into profitable services.
ENSIGN BUS COMPANY
MARSHALLS OF SUTTON ON TRENT
Ensign Bus Company is a rare independent as it operates a fully commercial network, where it sets fares, timetables and routes that fail or succeed by attracting and retaining passengers. This year saw difficult operating territory become even harder with the UK’s largest road improvement works on the A13/M25 junction continuing for over 18 months. Despite this, revenue improved and lost mileage was reduced, a genuine reflection of the hard work put in by so many staff in very trying conditions. Following the success of the BCI tri-axles that entered service last year, 10 new 10.8-metre versions have been entering service this year, reflecting an investment of over £2m in new vehicles. The network has been built in an area that historically always had a poor bus service and has been abandoned by both nationalised and plc groups in the past. Ensign operates 24/7, 365 days a year and covers some 8,000 rail shifts, 2,000 private hires, (including 600 weddings) as well as selling over 700 buses a year. There cannot be many independents or otherwise who undertake such a wide ranging and successful collage of operations. The judges described Ensign as an operationally-led operator delivering profitable services in difficult territory. They were pleased to see investment in new vehicles and a roundthe-clock Twitter feed giving good updates on issues with congestion and travel information.
The core value of Birmingham based Central Buses is to deliver ‘world class’ customer service every time. All drivers are trained in customer care and passengers who are not satisfied with an aspect of their journey can speak to the driver and receive a free travel voucher to try the company’s services again. Central Buses has signed up to the West Midlands Bus Alliance with commitments to increase bus patronage by 5%, improve peak time journey speeds, have fare rises of no more the Retail Price Index +1% per annum and maintain customer satisfaction levels at over 85%. It also agreed to offer discounted travel for everyone under 19 years old, integrated ticketless travel and make improvements on board vehicles such as better seating, next stop announcements and Wi-Fi. Central Buses continues to work in partnership with other local authorities and most recently has signed up to a programme to roll out RTI at bus stops in Staffordshire. The company has achieved passenger growth and route expansion by developing a network of sustainable commercial services and delivering ‘world class’ customer service. The judges noted Central Buses impressive passenger growth, helped by the creation of new routes and taking over services abandoned by others. It has established itself as the major operator in Tamworth.
A family company established 28 years ago with over 40 years of experience in passenger transport, Marshalls of Sutton on Trent has a proud history and tradition. The company started operating school services for Nottinghamshire County Council shortly after opening in 1989 and maintains a strong relationship with the council. In 1991, the seeds of a network of services accessing the Grantham Grammar Schools were sown, and this network now comprises six double deck buses, all run on a commercial basis. In 1998, Marshalls won its first contract for off-peak services between Newark and Retford, a route which is now served all day on a commercial basis. Hourly services between Newark, Nottingham, Normanton and Hawtonville as well as supported services around the Bingham area are also operated. Marshalls regularly invests in vehicle and equipment upgrades and was the first in the area to offer wheelchair access on service buses. The philosophy of the company is summed up in this extract from the staff handbook: “Customer satisfaction has been, and continues to be, the cornerstone of our success.” The judges were pleased to see that Marshalls, operating in a rural area with a small population, was making a success of routes dropped by other companies.
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TOP NATIONAL BUS DEPOT
This award is designed to recognise and reward high standards of operation and customer care throughout the UK. The award is open to bus depots or garages which operate buses on local services outside London. The award is made to the garage which, in the opinion of the judges, delivers the highest operational standards to its customers.
1. Shrewsbury, Arriva Midlands 2. Crawley, Metrobus 3. Eastleigh, Go South Coast
EASTLEIGH GO SOUTH COAST (BLUESTAR)
Go South Coast’s Eastleigh depot in Hampshire is run by its Bluestar brand. As well as local bus services, the depot also operates coach services for National Express and has recently been awarded National Express’s Gold Award for the way it cleans and maintains the coaches. A new bus wash uses less water and utilises rainwater collected from the depot roof. Waste collected from vehicles such as cans and newspapers is now being recycled. Staff facilities have been vastly improved with newly refurbished rest rooms and facilities at the depot including free Wi-Fi. All staff are paid above the living wage and are given opportunities to train and develop their skills, as well as other benefits such as free bus travel. The Star of the Month scheme leads into the Employee of the Year finale with a top prize of £3 000 and two weeks’ additional holiday. The judges were impressed with the high levels of employee engagement at this depot,
citing numerous staff initiatives including apprenticeship schemes, which has resulted in a very good operation for its customers. SILVER WINNER
SHREWSBURY ARRIVA MIDLANDS
Arriva Midlands’ Shrewsbury garage is a modern depot with a motivated workforce which pull out all the stops to produce the best results. Dedicated to achieving excellence, the team works hard to sustain an impressive business performance while keeping costs under control and providing high-quality, reliable services. The Shrewsbury depot leads the way in reducing waste through recycling and energy efficiency, with drivers adopting a progressive driving style to minimise fuel consumption and maximise passenger safety and comfort. Depot staff are enthusiastic and hard-working with a number of initiatives in place to ensure that they feel appreciated and included in management decisions. Awards are in place to celebrate excellence. Over the past year, the depot has maintained a 100% MOT pass 17
rate and has controllable lost mileage of only 0.09%, so it is hardly surprising that the garage achieved the best engineering audit in the company. The judges were impressed with this well written entry with plenty of evidence of a very well run operation. BRONZE WINNER
Metrobus started operating from its Crawley Depot in 2001 when the existing operator declared operations in the town unviable. The last 16 years have seen unprecedented growth, investment in the bus fleet, depot infrastructure and new technology. The depot has an enviable reputation for quality, investment and customer service. Routes vary from inter-urban services connecting small villages to areas of employment or commerce, to four routes with 24-hour services to Gatwick Airport. Gatwick is the area’s biggest employer and 30% of local staff now use Metrobus services to get to work with the ➢ company operating more than 33 buses
TOP NATIONAL BUS DEPOT
4. Falls Road, Metro (Citybus) 5. Luton, Arriva Midlands 6. St Andrews, Stagecoach East Scotland
an hour to the airport. Given the amount of competition for staff, Metrobus has worked hard on retaining staff with initiatives such as free bus travel for staff and their families alongside heavily discounted rail travel, discounts at high street stores, a six monthly on-site health check and very flexible working patterns aimed at parents with children. Crawley has maintained its consistently high standard over a number of years. The judges picked out good employee engagement and flexible work patterns. FINALIST
FALLS ROAD METRO (CITYBUS)
The Falls Road depot is one of four sites serving Translink’s Metro network, Belfast’s sole provider of urban bus transport. One of the largest employers in West Belfast (one of the most socially deprived areas in the UK) it fulfils a role far beyond the provision of excellent public transport services. Given its location, the depot has a fraught history. Viewed as part of the state, staff and vehicles were routinely targeted during the Troubles with sections of the community refusing to use any bus services. However, the pride, resilience and commitment of staff has prevailed, evidenced in meaningful initiatives which improve the depot’s performance and its place as a valued and integral part of the community. Initiatives include the Safety Bus which visits over 100 local schools each year highlighting safety issues and presenting
bus travel in a positive light, and the depot’s involvement in Féile an Phobail, which claims to be Europe’s largest community arts festival. As one of the managers said: “We have gone from a time of burning buses to playing ‘Music on the Metro’!” The judges praised the excellent work done by the Falls Road depot in a very difficult operating environment, whilst keeping ridership levels strong.
large family and the spirit and enjoyment the staff portray in their work demonstrates how much they enjoy their job. More than 40% of its drivers having been with the company for over 10 years. The family atmosphere at the St Andrews depot and evidence of a good team working together were praised by the judges. FINALIST
LUTON ARRIVA MIDLANDS
ST ANDREWS STAGECOACH EAST SCOTLAND
St Andrews depot, operated in the busy university town by Stagecoach East Scotland, runs a fleet of 29 vehicles and operates local town services as well as routes across Fife and into Dundee. With excellent reliability statistics, the depot’s efficient operations are a testament to the professionalism of the strong staff base and high levels of morale at the site. The MOT pass rate has stayed at 100% and punctuality has increased to 98.2% over the past year. Various activities are planned at St Andrews depot for staff. Football tournaments have existed for many years for staff and family members and continue to engage large numbers of employees. In association with other depots across Stagecoach East Scotland, periodic golf outings take place and a regular social calendar is organised by the administrative team. It is often said that St Andrews is a 18
In 2015 Arriva Midlands’ Luton depot underwent a transformation. A new management team, including a new General Manager, quickly oversaw a huge improvement in processes, practices, staff engagement and facilities. The network of bus services also underwent major change; in the biggest review of routes in 25 years. Services are now more frequent with better weekend coverage and new vehicles introduced. Both customer and employee satisfaction improved, lost mileage reduced, profit increased and passenger growth was over 5% for 2015. In 2016, all the ground work that was carried out in 2015 continued and in the last year network growth was 16% with some core routes showing growth of over 30%. The depot has gone through a revolution - or perhaps a revoLuton! The judges were pleased to see a new management team had put the heart and soul back into the depot as well as growing the network after a major review.
VOLVO BUS Proud sponsors
Congratulations to joint gold award winners, Nottingham City Council and Go-Ahead London. The Electrification of Park and Ride Services in Nottingham and the Electric Buses of Go-Ahead London ensured both were worthy winners of the Gold Environment Award sponsored by Volvo Bus, despite tough competition from other entries in the category. Judges evaluated entries based on a number of critical environmental factors including, improved energy efficiency, reduction of harmful vehicle emissions, noise level consideration and air quality management. Volvo Bus continually works to advance the technology designed to improve environmental factors and is proud to sponsor the award.
Wedgnock Lane, Warwick CV34 5YA Tel: 01926 401777, www.volvobus.co.uk
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TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
This award is presented to the scheme which, in the opinion of the judges, constitutes the best contribution by a bus operator, authority, manufacturer or any group or individual within those organisations to one or more of the following: further improving the environmental friendliness of the bus; improving the environment in which buses operate; improving the environment for bus users and potential users.
1. Go-Ahead London 2. Lothian Buses 3. Nottingham City Council
ELECTRIFICATION OF PARK AND RIDE SERVICES NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
At the end of January this year, Nottingham City Council’s Park & Ride services were electrified with the introduction of longrange battery electric buses, replacing the diesel vehicles which previously operated the routes. This was the latest phase of the council’s Electric Bus Project and involved the purchasing and deployment of 13 long-range electric buses for its Ecolink and Centrelink Park & Ride services, using funding from the Green Bus Fund and NCC’s Workplace Parking Levy. A base to charge and house the vehicles was constructed at the Queen’s Drive Park & Ride site, funded by grants from REMOurban and OLEV. After only a few months, results show significant reductions in carbon emissions and other pollutants. Furthermore, cost savings on fuel and servicing have enabled the council to fully maintain its contracted bus network, while the zero emission technology supports the aspirations for a local improvement in air quality standards and a Clean Air Zone in the city centre by 2020.
The judges were very impressed with what is believed to be the largest electric bus operation outside London. They also noted that this was partly funded by what is the only local authority workplace parking levy in operation in the UK. These pioneering approaches pushed the entry ahead of the others making it a joint Gold Winner in this category. GOLD WINNER
ELECTRIC BUSES GO-AHEAD LONDON
The need to improve air quality in the capital is immediate, not least because it contributes to the early deaths of around 10,000 Londoners a year. Spurred on by the introduction of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone for part of the capital from 2019, Transport for London and its bus company contractors are in the process of introducing Europe’s largest fleet of electric buses. Go-Ahead London was TfL’s partner to trial the initial e-bus technology in late 2013, which proved it could work in London’s challenging operating environment. Over the last year, Go-Ahead London has delivered a fleet of 51 pure electric buses, working with the Mayor’s Office and TfL, as well as UK 21
Power Networks and Scottish and Southern Electricity to install sufficient electrical capacity at the Waterloo depot. This spaceconstrained central London site, surrounded by residential and business neighbours, was converted from diesel operation to plug-in electric thanks to meticulous planning and engagement with staff, neighbours, suppliers and bus industry colleagues. The new vehicles have seamlessly replaced the buses that previously served passengers on the busy inter-station Routes 507 and 521. Once again, the scale of this scheme - the largest plug-in electric bus project in Europe and possibly the world - impressed the judges, who thought that Go-Ahead London deserved credit for overcoming the many practical obstacles to covert the depot to all-electric running. They also noted that a scheme on this scale could only be delivered where there is a sufficient power supply available. SILVER WINNER
BUS 2020 LOTHIAN
As one of the largest transport providers in Scotland, Lothian is playing its part in achieving the Scottish Government’s strategy for air quality improvements,
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
4. First Bus 5. The Big Lemon 6. First York
and its aim to make a 42% reduction in greenhouses gasses from 2015 to 2020. Bus 2020 is Lothian’s plan which affects all areas of its business as well as continued heavy investment in low emissions vehicles over the next few years. Waste was reduced by 20% in the first year, LED lighting is replacing existing lamps in offices and depots and three all-electric vans have been introduced. Last year 30 Euro 6 vehicles were introduced to the Edinburgh City Tours fleet alongside a further 25 vehicles to operate Route 22 which runs through two air quality management areas. By the end of this year, Lothian aims to introduce 30 more Euro 6 buses on city centre routes as well as 20 double deck hybrid buses and 15 single deck Euro 6 vehicles for its East Coast Buses subsidiary. The judges commented that this entry shows that there is a lot of work that can be done within a bus business to deliver real environmental benefits beyond the emissions from buses. BRONZE WINNER
YORK PARK & RIDE ELECTRIC BUSES FIRST YORK
The York Park & Ride network, operated in partnership by City of York Council and First York, provides over four million journeys every year and is one of the UK’s most used and environmentally friendly Park & Ride services. In fact Poppleton Bar was the UK’s first all-electric Park & Ride route. Locally manufactured Optare buses offer a smooth, quiet, zero-emission ride at source into the
city. Rapid chargers at Poppleton Bar provide a day-long charge to the buses’ batteries, and offer electric car owners a chance to charge up too. Electric Optare buses have replaced diesel buses at two out of York’s six Park & Ride sites helping to improve air quality. It is planned to introduce electric double deckers. The judges said that in overcoming the issues around electric buses not being able to complete a full day’s operation without some recharging, First York had produced a model for the operation of electric buses elsewhere. They were also impressed that the second batch of electric buses was delivered commercially by First York. FINALIST
A CLEANER AND GREENER FLEET FIRST BUS
Since establishing its comprehensive annual fuel economy testing programme in 2012 in partnership with Millbrook Proving Ground, First Bus has continued to work with manufacturers to improve vehicle efficiency as part of a continuous improvement drive. This programme of work has led to new vehicles becoming 30% more efficient and made Low Carbon Certified buses more affordable. In recent years First Bus has invested heavily in low carbon buses and now operates more than 1,000 in the UK, which is more than any other operator. As a result First Bus is now saving around 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the CO2 absorbed by 7.5 million trees. Having also recognised the importance of air quality First 22
has invested in what is understood to be the UK’s largest fleet of Euro 6 engined buses, helping to improve air quality in towns and cities across Britain. The judges praised the continued work of First Bus which is delivering benefits for the whole industry. FINALIST
THE BIG LEMON CIC THE BIG LEMON
The Big Lemon Community Interest Company describes itself as a super-friendly sustainable transport business based in Brighton, providing the local community with affordable, environmentally sustainable bus and coach services that are a joy for passengers to use. It believes it is the UK’s greenest bus company and the only one that does not use petrol or diesel to power its core fleet of vehicles. All its coaches run on recycled waste cooking oil from restaurants and the company launched the UK’s first solar powered electric bus in April this year. The energy comes from an array of solar panels on the depot roof which generates what the bus needs, as well as powering the office and creating a surplus to feed back into the grid. The Big Lemon also promotes walking through a programme of Sunday country walks, and internally, has a strong waste reduction and recycling policy. The judges were pleased to see a small operator, that has not benefitted from the Green Bus Fund, innovating and bringing together proven technology to deliver a small scale scheme with big environmental benefits.
Advancing Electric Solutions
Extended Range Hybrid
With 8,000 systems operating around the globe, BAE Systems is providing electric solutions for transit buses, paratransit buses, and motor coaches. Contact us to learn about the many ways weâ€™re helping to make buses more efficient while becoming more electric, or visit www.hybridrive.com.
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
NEW HORIZONS AWARD
1. Arriva UK Bus 2. Arriva UK Bus 3. Reading Buses 4. Passenger Technology Group 5. RATP Dev UK 6. Transdev Blazefield 7. Transdev Blazefield
ARRIVACLICK ARRIVA UK BUS
Technology and customer interests and expectations continue to develop at a rapid pace; the bus industry needs to embrace these changes, and react to the challenges coming from a changing mobility and social landscape. The New Horizons Award is intended to be a showcase for creativity and innovation. As such, a successful nomination for this award needs to demonstrate development of an original or novel idea, or the application of a technological solution that achieves one or more of the following: improves the image of the bus; stimulates interest in, or desire for, the bus product; improves the viability or efficiency of the industry. This award will be made for the innovation or application which most contributes to the improvement of the bus product.
Arriva launched ArrivaClick, an ondemand high specification minibus service in Sittingbourne, Kent, in March. It is an intelligent and flexible service where the passenger dictates the journey schedule via a smartphone app. The service does not follow fixed routes, but takes customers to their destinations via the shortest route. The backend technology allows passengers to be picked up and dropped off in an endless stream, without taking riders out of their way to accommodate others, enabling the carriage of a high volume of riders while using many fewer vehicles than utilised by other on-demand platforms. The customer requests a pick-up location and destination in the app and ArrivaClick instantly provides an ETA and price. Once the customer accepts the journey, a virtual bus stop is created. Customers can pre-plan their journeys or they can request in real-time. They receive an SMS alert two minutes before their minibus arrives and they can track their vehicle enroute, as well as contact their driver directly in case of difficulty. The system is cashless, meaning there is no need to cause delays by paying the driver. High specification Mercedes minibuses are used which provide comfortable seating, charging points and free Wi-Fi. ArrivaClick has seen tremendous 24
growth in its first three months due to a targeted marketing and growth strategy, and is set to scale-up in the near future. The judges appreciated the thought which had gone into providing an attractive and convenient service in a way which also tried to make the commercial case work for Demand Responsive Transport. They thought that this had great potential and could tap into a new market of young professionals as well as being a good filler for smaller towns and rural areas that do not have bus services or that run at unsuitable times. SILVER WINNER
TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION TO MAKE THE BUS BEST READING BUSES
Reading Buses is making the bus the clear transport mode of choice through innovation and technological development. It recognises that customers have choices; be it travelling by car, taxi, bike or walking, or even not travelling at all and using online shopping. Through focussing on all the details, no matter how small, and investing in people and technology, Reading Buses has bucked industry trends for patronage to become one of the few networks in growth with 12% more customers and 9% more revenue in the past year. Always at the forefront with its brightly coloured route-branded buses, the
company has launched on-bus innovations such as social seating, books and umbrellas to borrow, and even Lego to play with. Reading Buses has operated gas-powered buses since 2013, the same year it launched a smartcard scheme, followed by mTicketing last year and becoming the first full network outside London to offer contactless payments this year. Customer satisfaction scores are in the top three nationally. Reading Buses is keeping its services at the forefront of urban mobility and breaking new ground to deliver benefits for the whole bus industry. The judges praised Reading Buses for its holistic approach, bringing the benefits of many available technologies to all areas of its service. BRONZE WINNER
VAMOOZ TRANSDEV BLAZEFIELD
Transdev Blazefieldâ€™s VAMOOZ is a flexible and demand-led product with two core principles; go where you choose, and the more who ride, the less you pay. Customers use the VAMOOZ app to suggest routes for a regular service or one-off trips to events or destinations. Once a vehicle has been allocated and an initial price set, the price per person reduces as more customers book onto the service. VAMOOZ has also helped identify several new routes which have become regular services. Transdev Blazefield has partnered with the company that created
the technology and the two have developed it together. The system has already been rolled out to other bus operators elsewhere in the country. Although a relatively new scheme awaiting results over a longer period, the judges thought the scheme was sufficiently innovative to be the Bronze Winner.
Another offering is Passenger Cloud which allows interaction with smartwatches and voice assistants such as Amazon Echo. The judges praised this white label solution that allows small operators to narrow the technology gap and offer what the big groups have produced themselves. FINALIST
SLIDE BRISTOL RATP DEV UK
PASSENGER PASSENGER TECHNOLOGY GROUP
For bus users, Passenger can create a seamless multi-modal real-time and route planning experience. For bus operators, Passenger is a transport data management platform that uses mTicketing and passenger information apps to learn about trends in behaviour and influence passenger decision making. By giving operators the tools to analyse the data, they are empowered to engage more effectively with their customers and support them in their journeys. Passenger provides an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction, strengthen brand loyalty, develop marketing and pricing initiatives and introduce operating efficiencies such as the faster boarding times and reduction of cash handling costs that mTicketing offers. The Passenger platform includes Android and iPhone apps, and supports Apple Pay alongside debit and credit card payments. 25
Launched in July 2016 by RATP Dev UK, Slide Bristol is a bookable, shared ride to work service that is akin to a small, on-demand bus operating at peak hours, Monday to Friday. Customers book their journey using an app. An algorithm calculates the fastest route based on real-time traffic data and other passenger pick-ups. Regular updates from the app keep customers up-to-date with their driverâ€™s arrival time. At the anticipated pick-up time, the customer walks to a virtual bus stop a few minutes away. Slide has been recognised as a convenient and affordable transport solution in Bristol and has managed to attract car drivers to a shared transport mode. In surveys, customers have rated Slide 4.8 out of 5 for service and 4.9 for drivers. 98% of Slide users would recommend it to a friend. Whilst identifying a clear target audience, the judges felt that the future commercial viability of this interesting scheme might be a challenge.
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
MAKING BUSES A BETTER CHOICE: THE PETER HUNTLEY MEMORIAL AWARD Sponsored by
Peter Huntley had a long career in public transport, working in transport coordination for local authorities, as a consultant at The TAS Partnership, as a journalist and writer, and as an inspirational managing director of bus company Go North East, between 2006 and 2011. He was tragically killed in a climbing accident in February 2012 at the age of 55. Peter helped to found the UK Bus Awards in 1995 and this award is dedicated to his memory as the category that best represents the breadth of his interests and his passion for excellence.
1. Transport for London 2. Stagecoach Midlands 3. Metrobus 4. Arriva Midlands
LONDON’S BUS PRIORITY PROGRAMME TRANSPORT FOR LONDON
Transport for London’s Bus Priority Programme is investing in bus priority to deliver quicker and more reliable journey times for bus passengers throughout London. TfL is working alongside bus operators and London Boroughs to identify locations where bus priority is most needed and can improve journey times and reliability. So far, the programme has delivered over 230 schemes in the past three years with 135 minutes of passenger time savings as well as helping to reduce the impacts to bus passengers of increased traffic congestion in London. The programme is also developing and delivering the bus network infrastructure required to support London’s expanding population. Much of this population growth will take place in areas poorly served by existing public transport, such as Barking Riverside, Thamesmead and the Upper Lee Valley. TfL has been working with London Boroughs in these areas and developers to look at potential bus network infrastructure which can be installed so that new residents choose to travel by bus from day one rather than rely on cars. As congestion in London is increasing, making journey times longer for all vehicle users, the judges thought it was good to see the initiatives being taken by Transport for
London to address bottlenecks, and other measures to reduce bus journey times. They also noted the work being done in areas being redeveloped for housing and business to put in bus priority measures while the road infrastructure is being built.
information displays and USB charging points. In its first week, 28,000 customers used the service, which has almost doubled to 50,000 within a year. 20% of passengers said they had stopped using their cars for the same journey and had actively switched to the bus since April 2016. More than half said they had access to a car either, but still chose the bus. The judges were pleased to see that the scheme was achieving substantial modal shift, also helped by the use of better quality vehicles. They also noted that the new services were especially effective when linked with the bus priority measures on the East Lancashire Road.
VANTAGE FIRST MANCHESTER AND PARTNERS
Transport for Greater Manchester’s creation of the North-West’s first guided busway and the introduction of First Manchester’s Vantage services in 2016 has resulted in a premium bus service that connects Leigh, Tyldesley and Ellenbrook to, from and through Manchester city centre’s Oxford Road. The 4.5-mile guided busway section is supported with bus lanes along the remainder of the route reducing peak journey times by 20 to 30 minutes. The project is one of the two largest schemes in Manchester’s bus priority programme, and includes three park and ride sites in Leigh, Tyldesley and on the East Lancashire Road, that collectively provide more than 400 spaces which are free to use by anyone continuing their journey by bus. First Manchester provides up to eight Vantage buses an hour along the busway. The fleet comprises 25 hybrid buses, providing free Wi-Fi, high quality seating complete with top deck table areas, real time audio and visual on-board 26
IMPROVING OUT OF TOWN EMPLOYMENT SITES IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LIFTSHARE STAGECOACH MIDLANDS
Stagecoach Midlands developed an opportunity to run bus services around the start and end of shifts at an out of town employment site, which, it realised, fitted nicely around its school services. Distribution/warehouse sites typically have relatively low paid staff, many of whom do not own cars. Often these centres want to expand, but have exhausted their local labour market and need to bring staff in from a wider catchment area, but have no more space for staff parking. After an
The judges said it was impressive to see a bus operator taking the initiative to work with a local authority, not only to save local bus services, but expand them into an inter-urban network on an almost commercial basis. 5
ROBIN HOOD NETWORK SMART TICKETING NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
introduction by Warwickshire County Council, Stagecoach Midlands began working with Liftshare, which was already established with many large employers. Both saw that buses and sharing cars were complementary and together presented a strong agreement when visiting new employers. Stagecoach Midlands has now expanded services across a number of sites in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire and in all cases put on extra journeys, increased bus capacity and expanded days and times of operation. Proving that buses are a very good option for out of town employment sites, the judges were very impressed with Stagecoach West Midlands’ innovative scheme. They liked the comprehensive approach and partnership with Liftshare, commenting that this demonstrates a good source of new passengers as trips to high streets decline. FINALIST
ARRIVA BUSWAY SERVICES ARRIVA MIDLANDS
The Luton and Dunstable Busway is the longest urban guided busway in the world and is still a high profile transport project. It opened in September 2013 and Arriva has been committed to the project from initial conception to completion. When it first opened Arriva operated four buses an hour, increasing to 11 in 2016 and 13 this year.
5. First Manchester and partners 6. Reading Buses 7. Nottingham City Council
Passenger growth from 2015 to 2016 was over 25%, and from 2016 to 2017 growth continued at over 30%. Services along the Busway have produced proven modal shift and parallel services have also seen growth in excess of 9%. With significantly reduced journey times, refurbished buses, free Wi-Fi and great value Busway-specific tickets, the Busway network that Arriva operates really does make buses a better choice for travelling between Luton and Dunstable and beyond. In another demonstration that bus priority works, the judges were pleased to see that services along Luton’s busway have increased and improved over the past 18 months. FINALIST
DOING MORE FOR LESS IN SURREY METROBUS
Metrobus worked with Surrey County Council to convert three lightly used rural subsidised bus routes into an inter-urban network creating new links between towns, villages, tourist attractions and an airport. The aim was to put the resource to much better use and boost usage of the routes, rather than managing decline of the socially necessary services, bringing them closer to commercial viability. The new network was delivered at a cost saving to the council, delivering more for less at a time of reduced supported service budgets. 27
The Robin Hood Network is a partnership between public transport operators in Greater Nottingham, including bus, tram and train operators, as well as Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. The scheme is administered by Nottingham City Council, but is strongly supported by regular involvement and input from operators and local consultants. The Robin Hood Network provides a comprehensive suite of multioperator, multi-modal tickets and smart cards for travel across Nottingham for adults, students and children. The latest development is the Robin Hood Pay As You Go travel card, one of the first of its kind in the UK outside of London. The network also has 125 onstreet ticket vending machines to provide a comprehensive retail network. In a city which already has individual operator smart ticketing, the judges noted that it was good to see that this new multioperator ticket is fast becoming the established smart ticket brand for Nottingham. FINALIST
ORANGE AND ROYAL BLUE REINVIGORATED READING BUSES
Reading Buses harnessed customer demand and feedback from its other innovative services alongside its own ideas to work with industry partners specifying new environmentally friendly double deck gas buses and lightweight, fuel efficient Wright Streetdeck buses when it re-launched its Orange and Royal Blue routes. Orange route vehicles have a high quality interior without adding lots of weight, and innovations including social seating with a ‘banquette’ sofa and table. Royal Blue routes were launched this year with double deck CNG gas buses specified with a high quality interior. Both services offer full next stop audio/visual customer information systems including a screen viewable from the wheelchair bay, clear white crystal LED external displays and external destination audio repeaters. Orange services have seen growth of 5.74%, while Royal Blue’s town centre launch with BBC TV coverage and new gas buses has brought 23% passenger growth. The judges thought it was good to see that Reading Buses are constantly innovating and re-invigorating two of its already well established branded routes.
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
BUS AND THE COMMUNITY AWARD
COMMITMENT TO LUTON ARRIVA MIDLANDS - LUTON DEPOT
This award is designed to recognise and reward a scheme, project or other activity which has provided benefits to local people. The judges look for nominations which place the bus industry (in its widest sense) at the heart of the local community in the area served, by raising funds for a local charitable project or helping the local community to achieve an objective of its own.
Over the last two years, the Arriva Midlands depot in Luton has contributed significantly to the community and town. Love Luton organises events that promote the positive image and cultural diversity that Luton has to offer and the Arriva General Manager has been chair of its board for five years. A strong relationship has been built with the local hospice and Arriva provides transport for all its major events. Arriva has also provided buses to enable children from schools across the town to take part in sports tournaments. The company has also supported charitable choirs, Dementia Awareness week and many other important events that connect different ages, groups and cultures putting Arriva right at the heart of the community. The judges were impressed with the way the Luton depot has integrated itself into its community, supporting a range of local charities and being involved in promoting the town to residents and those from further afield. SILVER WINNER
YOUTH EXPRESS STAGECOACH WEST SCOTLAND
The Youth Express is a joint partnership between Stagecoach West Scotland, East Ayrshire Council’s Vibrant Communities and South Ayrshire Council’s Community Safety Partnership to provide a mobile youth club for young people from rural communities across Ayrshire. The Youth Express is also 28
used at community events across the region and is an important facility for tackling antisocial behaviour and vandalism by providing a safe environment where young people can socialise, surf the web or play the latest video games. It is an ongoing project which has been in operation for over 10 years. The vehicle is provided and maintained by Stagecoach West Scotland which also supplies a dedicated driver for the vehicle. In November last year, the Youth Express was replaced with a newer vehicle and updated with the latest technology to reflect the changing needs of young people. Although not an original idea, the judges picked out this scheme for the quality of its execution and the benefits delivered to both sides. They noted how it has made the depot team more cohesive and better able to deliver their job roles. BRONZE WINNER
DEMENTIA AWARENESS ARRIVA MIDLANDS - TELFORD DEPOT
After reaching out to Arriva in Telford for support, the Alzheimer’s Society has found an enthusiastic partner for its campaign to raise awareness of dementia in the communities it serves. Arriva immediately recognised that working closely with the charity would help it to offer more supportive and caring services to affected customers and their families and allow it to make a real difference in improving public understanding of this disease. The company has begun an ambitious programme to ensure that staff are trained to recognise and help passengers suffering from dementia as well as committing itself to helping the charity to educate the public and to raise
1. Arriva Midlands - Telford 2. Arriva Midlands - Luton 3. Stagecoach West Scotland 4. Bath Bus Company 5. Arriva London 6. First Eastern Counties 7. RATP Dev London
funds to support its work. Recognising that dementia is an increasing issue in society, the judges were impressed with the efforts made by Arriva Midlands’ Telford depot team and saw this as something that could be replicated in other depots across the country. The judges also commented on the excellent team spirit in the Telford depot, citing its Walk-a-Wackie fancy dress sponsored walk. SPECIAL COMMENDATION
IMBERBUS BATH BUS COMPANY WITH INDUSTRY COLLEAGUES
The idea of Imberbus came to four senior transport people while in a pub in Bath in 2008; they wanted to run a registered bus service to the most unusual place possible. The village of Imber last had a bus service in November 1943. Lying within the Salisbury Plain Military Training Area, the houses in Imber were bought by the military in the 1930s and evacuated at short notice in November 1943 to practise for D-Day. They were subsequently largely destroyed and replaced by 1970s buildings for urban warfare practice. The residents never returned and the village, with its 13th century church, is completely inaccessible except when the roads are open a few days a year. Imberbus enables access to Imber and the enjoyment of the village, and its church as well as providing spectacular images of places otherwise completely inaccessible. It is staffed by some of the most enthusiastic senior people in the passenger transport industry using iconic buses, properly blinded, with faretables, ticket machines, iBus displays, running numbers and proper bus stops.
This year over £13,000 was raised in fares, exceeding last year's total, and donated to the Royal British Legion and St Giles Church. More than 1,500 passengers were carried on 23 assorted buses. The judges thought that Imberbus deserved a special commendation for charity fundraising and raising the profile of the bus industry in a positive way in the regional and national press. Thousands of visitors, many of whom spend money in the local towns and villages, are drawn to this annual event only because this bus service exists. FINALIST
is to provide support, awareness and give young people the confidence to become independent and use public transport on their own without a mentor. First Eastern Counties provides free travel on bus services in Norwich to the young people and their mentors when they sign up to the scheme. The company also provides learning, awareness and safety workshops at three schools. The judges saw this as a good example of how a bus operator can pick up on a scheme to benefit its business as well as delivering benefits for the wider community. FINALIST
PAYROLL GIVING ARRIVA LONDON
Arriva London is committed to Payroll Giving and has been promoting the idea to staff for four years with posters, videos and a weekly roadshow at one of the company’s 17 London garages. Over 20% of Arriva London staff now generously give to over 160 charities each payday, and having passed the 20% mark, Arriva London has been awarded the Platinum Quality Mark by the Charities Aid Foundation. The scale of this scheme impressed the judges, as did the high take up of staff wanting to be involved. FINALIST
TITAN PARTNERSHIP FIRST EASTERN COUNTIES
First Eastern Counties is one of three partners in the Titan Travel Scheme which provides support and improves the lives of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities in Norfolk. The main objective 29
WORKING WITH YOUNG OFFENDERS RATP DEV LONDON TOLWORTH BUS GARAGE
Take a small group of young offenders, put them to work cleaning buses and removing graffiti and what do you get? Hopefully, a sense of remorse over the petty crimes they have committed and a desire to engage in life as a responsible adult. This is what RATP Dev London staff at Tolworth bus garage have been hoping to achieve through their work with the local Youth Offending Service. The young people, most of whom are from the Tolworth area, clean the buses as part of their community service, paying back in a very practical way for the petty crimes they have committed in - and against - the locality. The judges noted that it seemed to be effective and is making a real contribution to the local community. The element of training was also noted and it was thought that other depots around the country could offer something similar.
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
ROSCO AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN ROAD SAFETY Sponsored by
This award will go to the organisation, operator or employee who, in the opinion of the judges, has made the most innovative contribution towards safety and safe driving during the past year.
1. RATP Dev UK 2. Xplore Dundee 3. Xplore Dundee
ROUTE RISK ASSESSMENT MAPS AT STAMFORD BROOK GARAGE RATP DEV UK
Overhanging trees, sudden bends, parked cars, potholes and winding roads can all make navigating a bus along a route challenging for a new driver. At RATP Dev London’s Stamford Brook garage, one driver with a particular interest in road safety has addressed this problem by designing large 8ft x 2ft route risk assessment maps in which every possible hazard has been plotted. These maps are kept in the area of the garage where drivers sign on so they can study them. The maps are particularly valued by new drivers, and not only help drivers avoid minor bumps and scrapes, but also assist them in boosting their Drivewell (RATP Dev London’s internal driver monitoring standards system) scores, sometimes from ‘acceptable’ to ‘excellent’. Driver Cliff Ottley-Thistlethwaite who produced the maps is now working on a handy A4 spiral-bound route risk assessment book for each route containing a scaled-down version of the route risk assessment maps, broken down into 40 sections. Although only two entries were received for this category, the judges were keen to say that both of them were very good, but it
was the route assessment maps that took the Gold. Noting that the work had been done by a driver in his spare time, the judges were pleased to see that RATP Dev London had now picked up the idea, which the judges thought could have an application on many routes throughout the country.
bus swerves towards a young mum pushing a buggy, with catastrophic consequences. The film doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to highlighting the damage done to human lives. Each organisation played its part in acting out the scenario - an Xplore Dundee bus driver skilfully drove a double decker along a blocked off area of road as it was ‘stoned’ and then swerved to emulate an accident. Fire crews and paramedics arrived in full gear, tending to the ‘casualties’ and deploying equipment to lift the bus and retrieve a ‘casualty’ from underneath. Police officers acted out the moment of giving bad news to a relative of the victim in the film. These representatives lent an air of authenticity to the film, to such an extent that some viewers are unaware that the film is a recreated scenario, rather than a real-life one. Figures show the number of reports of smashed windows experienced by Xplore Dundee has fallen since the launch of the film, and all organisations involved have also expressed interest in repeating the project, targeting other issues of anti-social behaviour and personal safety. The judges were impressed with the number of agencies that had worked together on this film that delivers a lot of impact. They thought that this idea could also be extended to light rail operators.
‘A STONE’S THROW AWAY’ SAFETY FILM XPLORE DUNDEE
National Express Group-owned Xplore Dundee has created an innovative and educational safety film, ‘A Stone’s Throw Away’, in partnership with Scottish Fire & Rescue, Police Scotland, Connect 5 Offsite Learning Centre, Dundee City Council and the Scottish Ambulance Service. The project was developed in early 2016 to tackle the ongoing problem of anti-social behaviour in the community, specifically the issue of young people throwing stones at buses and emergency vehicles. It was proposed that a DVD should be made, aimed at school pupils, which would clearly show them the potential consequences of stone throwing and anti-social behaviour. The resulting short film shows a double decker bus targeted by a youth who throws a brick at the vehicle, breaking the window and injuring passengers. The 30
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TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
PUTTING PASSENGERS FIRST
ROBIN HOOD NETWORK SMART TICKETING NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
Delivery of excellence in customer service is vital to the future of the bus industry. This award is designed to promote its delivery and improvement by rewarding excellence, best practice and innovation in this essential area. Ideally, the winner of the award will set ambitions for the future and thus blaze a trail for others in the industry to follow.
The Robin Hood Network provides a comprehensive suite of multi-operator, multi-modal tickets and smart cards for travel across Greater Nottingham for adults, students and juniors. The latest development is the Robin Hood Pay As You Go travel card which is the first fully-integrated, cappedfare, multi-modal, ITSO-compliant, smart ticketing system in the UK, differing from London due to the need to accommodate the deregulated environment and operators’ own tickets. The Robin Hood Network is a partnership between public transport operators in Greater Nottingham, including bus, tram and rail operators; in fact 13 different partners have come together to deliver the scheme. In the first 15 months, 10,000 passengers are travelling more because the PAYG card makes it easier, and 38% of users now use more than one transport operator for the same reason. Half of users 32
have switched from paper tickets and 2.5% of users have switched from their cars to public transport due to the new ticketing scheme. The judges commented that this was a big project to deliver and were pleased to see bus operators and agencies working together and producing genuinly multi-operator pricing, making it a worthy Gold Winner. SILVER WINNER
£1 FLAT FARE FOR 18S AND UNDER GO NORTH EAST
Targeting an audience of students, apprentices and children under the age of 19, Go North East led a multi-faceted marketing campaign to launch an anytime, anywhere flat £1 fare last summer. Partnerships were formed with colleges across the area and the campaign involved digital advertising, events in high footfall areas and a cinema advertisement screened across the region. Simplifying a confusing fare structure and making it cheaper for all young people, not just students, to use buses has resulted in an increase of annual sales by 65% and passenger
numbers by 60%. By encouraging this audience to use the bus now, Go North East hopes that they will continue using the bus as they progress into adulthood. Good passenger and revenue growth with this scheme was noted by the judges, who were also impressed that the system works without requiring young passengers to provide ID. BRONZE WINNER
BELFAST AIRPORT EXPRESS TRANSLINK
Translinkâ€™s Airport Express 300 service between Belfast city centre and the airport has been transformed over the past year. Ten new, specially liveried, accessible double decker buses have been introduced on the route, with audio visual displays in French, German and Spanish. Forty staff have undergone customer excellence training through the World Host programme, becoming tourism ambassadors for Northern Ireland. Translink worked closely with Belfast International Airport, Tourism NI and Visit Belfast to develop a welcoming and efficient gateway service, built on research, stakeholder engagement, innovative ticketing and service excellence training. Customers can use mTicketing paying with PayPal and avoiding difficulties with changing currency. Ryanair passengers can book the flight and travel to Belfast city centre in one transaction. The re-vamped service has seen growth of 25% carrying 100,000 extra passengers a year. The judges noted good employee engagement with all drivers attending a Welcome Host course, alongside significant passenger growth.
1. Nottingham City Council 2. Go North East 3. Go North East 4. Nottingham City Council 5. Translink 6. Yellow Buses 7. Yellow Buses
PASSENGER APP AND ONE HOUR TICKET YELLOW BUSES 5
Bournemouth based Yellow Buses has worked with local app developers Base to help create one of the highest rated travel applications in the industry, appropriately named Move. Users can buy tickets using Apple pay or a credit/debit card, plan journeys, track them in real time and see any disruptions. There are also special promotional prices that only app users can access. One of these is the One Hour Ticket which allows passengers to buy a ticket on the mobile app, activate it prior to getting on the bus and travel anywhere on the network for the next hour. The ticket has been very well received and allows customers to hop on and off services within the hour without having to buy a more expensive return ticket. The judges noted that the one hour transfer ticket is only available when using the Yellow Buses app, which addresses revenue leakage. The app was also well received.
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
THE AWARD FOR MARKETING INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR Sponsored by
This award is for successful promotional ideas and campaigns which get the message about services over to the target market through advertising, PR activity or sales promotion schemes. It’s about creating an impact, winning ‘hearts and minds’, creating or developing a strong brand or improving the image of bus travel, and helping to change public perceptions and/or consumer behaviour.
1. Stagecoach MCSL 2. Go North East 3. First West of England 4. Nottingham City Council 5. First Glasgow 6. National Express West Midlands 7. Arriva UK Bus
BEAT THE RISE - MTICKET CAMPAIGN FIRST WEST OF ENGLAND
The advantages of mTicketing to reduce the amount of cash carried on the bus and enable faster boarding times are well known, but when First West of England (FWE) measured the amount of time spent boarding on one of its busiest routes, it found that 29% of the journey time was taken up with boarding. It then filmed a group of students board a bus with cash and then repeated the process with mTickets. It took 10.5 minutes to board the students with cash and 2.5 minutes with mTickets; on average, nine seconds faster per person. FWE’s own research found that, excluding concessionary users, 91% of its passengers owned a smartphone. In order to encourage mTicket use, a huge marketing campaign was launched which included social media, in app banner advertising in over 80,000 apps within 1.5 miles of Bristol city centre, radio adverts and numerous poster sites. ‘Beat the Rise’ was the slogan, publicising price increases across the network for cash fares while prices were held or reduced for mTicket users. The boarding video was used extensively with its powerful message about reducing journey times. Drivers and other staff were included and reminded of the mTicketing systems and advantages. Year on year mTicket
sales increased by 300% while on-bus ticket sales reduced by 20%. Average weekly sales revenue increased by 160%. The judges really liked this well executed and honest scheme and were pleased to see the work done to demonstrate faster boarding, and thus overall decreased journey times when using mTickets over cash. SILVER WINNER
£1 FLAT FARE FOR 18S AND UNDER GO NORTH EAST
Targeting an audience of students, apprentices and children under the age of 19, Go North East led a multi-faceted marketing campaign to launch an anytime, anywhere flat £1 fare last summer. Partnerships were formed with colleges across the area and the campaign involved digital advertising, events in high footfall areas and a cinema advertisement screened across the region. Simplifying a confusing fare structure and making it cheaper for all young people to use buses, not only students, has resulted in an increase of annual sales by 65% and passenger numbers by 60%. By encouraging this group to use the bus now, Go North East hopes that they will continue using the bus into adulthood. Although thought to be a courageous step, the judges were pleased to see thatreducing the fare for this age group is paying off and growing the long term market for bus travel. 34
COME ON YOU RED MEN! STAGECOACH MCSL
A key requirement of Liverpool Football Club’s planning consent for the Anfield stadium extension, was that the additional 8,500 seats did not require any additional car journeys, so the football club engaged with Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire to see if a well planned matchday bus service could meet this requirement. The 917 service already ran on Liverpool FC home matchdays with four buses running four return journeys. The enhanced service would see this increased to 16 buses running on a continual loop for as long as was necessary at each home game. Of course, planning and providing the service was only half the battle; people going to the match needed to know about the enhanced service and feel compelled to choose the bus. It was identified that fans often travel as small groups, so Stagecoach MCSL introduced a new return ticket for four adults. Further research showed that boarding for the return journeys was a slow process, not only due to the sheer volume of fans exiting the stadium at the same time, but also because many were purchasing single tickets both ways. This was addressed through a marketing initiative that offered a ‘buy one, get one free’ on a pie or a pint at Anfield Stadium upon production
SANDWELL AND DUDLEY LOW-FARE ZONE NATIONAL EXPRESS WEST MIDLANDS
of a return ticket for the 917 at the match. The overall uplift in patronage on the service was 194% against the previous season, significantly exceeding the 50% target set at the outset of the project. Across the season, the total revenue increased by 202%. Having achieved modal shift, the judges thought that this was a scheme that other operators across the UK could repeat for sports fixtures and special events. FINALIST
GET YOUR RIDE ON ARRIVA UK BUS
Across the UK there is a student population of more than 2.25 million, and of these around one million are first year students. Almost three quarters move away from home, and the £197,000 Get Your Ride On campaign aimed to encourage students to take an Arriva bus. Alongside a variety of digital and online channels, ‘Arriva Angels’ visited more than 30 Freshers’ Fairs, while display and roadside advertising was deployed along with 104 washroom panels across 12 bars, beermats were distributed to a further 35 student bars. This was a step change in Arriva’s approach to student engagement. In fact, the 2016 student campaign is Arriva’s most successful to date, delivering year on year growth of up to 31% as well as creating long term relationships between Arriva UK Bus and its student customer base.
Whilst noting that this was an expensive campaign that could only have been undertaken by a large bus group, the judges were impressed with the effective use of all marketing channels, and an innovative approach that had delivered a huge 31% year on year revenue increase from this market. FINALIST
GLASGOW AIRPORT EXPRESS FIRST GLASGOW
In July last year, First Glasgow launched the Glasgow Airport Express, a fleet of 10 vehicles featuring a new ‘airline inspired indentity’ and bespoke interior featuring high quality seating with branded headrests, under-seat lighting, complimentary 4G Wi-Fi, USB charging points and plenty of space for luggage. These bespoke vehicles, along with branded bus stops and staff uniforms, an extensive marketing campaign and a variety of e and m ticketing options, have won over passengers with customer satisfaction at 93% and passenger numbers increased by more than 25% compared with the former Glasgow Shuttle airport service. The judges were pleased that this well executed scheme was delivering passenger growth, and were especially keen to note the plan to add the facility for airline passengers to buy their bus ticket alongside their air ticket on airline websites. 35
National Express West Midlands (NXWM) operates across a large and mixed area. Whilst the cities of Wolverhampton, Coventry and Birmingham attract commuters and shoppers, customers travel to the smaller towns of the Black Country on different days for different reasons. They also make shorter journeys than other passengers, making NXWM’s West Midlands-wide fares seem poor value for money in the Black Country. The Sandwell and Dudley low-fare zone was designed to promote journeys into the main towns in the southern half of the Black Country - Stourbridge, Dudley, Halesowen, Oldbury and Tipton - as well as the two major destinations of Merry Hill shopping centre and Russells Hall Hospital. Fares were cut by at least 30% with the ‘Stay local, pay local’ strapline promoted in newspapers, telephone boxes, petrol stations and bus shelters as well as on mobile banners and Facebook advertisements. Four thousand extra bus journeys are now being made each day, 50% of which were not being made before the fare decrease; with 67% of customers reporting that they now make more journeys by bus. The judges were pleased to note that the scheme was delivering, and liked the use of petrol pump advertising. FINALIST
ELLIE THE ELECTRIC BUS AND FRIENDS NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
Wanting to get its green electric message out to 25-35 year olds in the area, Nottingham City Council decided to communicate with three to six year olds using illustrated children’s books with the hope that the parents would read the books with their children and absorb the greener choice messages they were promoting, whilst at the same time encouraging young travellers to try the bus and tram and educating them in the safe ways to travel. Social media and web promotions were key in reaching a younger market and launching the first books alongside promotions with the electric bus and tram operators. Four books have been successfully launched, with each story based on a local area. Ellie the Electric Bus has been joined by Greta the Gas Bus, Marvin the Medilink and Kevin the Kangaroo, which promotes the new tram route to Clifton. Whilst not providing evidence of how many additional passengers were attracted to travel by bus, the judges thought the scheme may well have benefitted from the popularity of the books amoing the younger readers.
TECHNICAL & PROFESSIONAL
THE AWARD FOR SUSTAINED MARKETING EXCELLENCE
This award is designed to recognise marketing excellence over a sustained period that is likely to be measured in years rather than weeks. The award goes to the organisation that best demonstrates how an active, customer-focused marketing strategy, consistently applied over time, has driven business improvement, won extra journeys and captured new customers, ideally through a shift of travel from car to bus.
36: RIDING. REDEFINED. TRANSDEV BLAZEFIELD
Transdev Blazefield’s route 36 is a marketled product based around continual improvement, research and engagement. The company has worked hard to create and nurture a brand that provides demanding customers with an assurance of quality previously unseen within the bus industry. Back in 2003 two men had a vision of leather seated buses. Everyone thought they were mad, but passengers disagreed - they loved them. The 36 has been constantly reinvented, year-on-year to achieve growth. First came twin-deck, high spec buses in 2003. Double digit growth followed. The 36 was revitalised in 2010. And riding was ‘redefined’ in 2016, with a £3.3m investment in new vehicles, and an associated marketing and communications campaign. The 36 features many firsts for the industry - glass roofs, workstations complete with tables and USB charging at the rear, spacious 2+1 seating and a library. The 36 was also the first bus service outside London to accept contactless bank cards. A passenger survey in January showed 97% of customers were satisfied or very satisfied, and 74% stated that they couldn’t name anything they’d want to see improved! 56% of customers could have used their cars, but chose the bus instead. And 77% of the 36’s passengers don’t ever use the train, the route’s 36
main competitor, with the monthly Harrogate to Leeds rail season ticket costing 52% more than the monthly pass for the 36, which includes travel on any other Transdev bus too. Transdev Blazefield’s route 36 has been refreshed once more in what the judges commented was an excellent team effort, led from the front. They were impressed with constant renewal over many years of this high quality service, and noted that the company has interesting plans for the future. SILVER WINNER
‘LAKES CONNECTION’ 555 SERVICE STAGECOACH CUMBRIA & NORTH LANCASHIRE
The Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire 555 service operates between Lancaster and Keswick, through the Lake District National Park, serving key destinations such as Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere. Tourism in the Lakes prompts a drastic change in population during the summer months. This requires the advantages of the service to be marketed to those in the local area, bringing people in from Lancaster and Keswick, and also to those unfamiliar with the area who may be visiting for the day or weekend. Sustained, consistent and clear marketing of the service is a necessity to its success, as its route, frequency, cost and experience need to be communicated to a new audience each
frequency summaries, full service timetables with a 12-hour clock, route diagrams, fare information and promotions of private hire. Bus Times currently has a print run of 70,000 and flies off the shelves when it’s published, showing that it still has a much-loved and valuable place alongside the array of digital information options. The judges thought that Brighton & Hove deserves a special commendation for continued production of what was probably the first fully integrated bus timetable by one operator that includes the services of others. They noted that in the days of apps and smartphones, Bus Times demonstrates there is still a strong demand for a paper product.
5 1. Transdev Blazefield 2. Transdev Blazefield 3. Stagecoach East Scotland 4. Go South Coast 5. Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire 6. Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company 7. South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
and every season. All major social media platforms are used to promote the service, alongside more conventional leaflets and roadside publicity. The launch of 12 new vehicles in July last year was an opportunity to fully utilise the bus to promote the 555 service through eye catching branding, and Stagecoach is continually looking for new ways to promote the service to encourage the public to leave the car at home or holiday accommodation. The judges described this as a well written, model entry, and an example of best practice for a rural bus route. Sustained investment and marketing with plans for further development should secure a future for this service.
PURBECK BREEZER GO SOUTH COAST (MOREBUS)
the range of customers who benefit from the routes, create awareness of the range of luxury services available, help to align the product provision to customer aspirations and, ultimately, achieve modal shift and an improved customer experience. Tailored individual campaigns are carried out when specific developments take place and ongoing branding messages are also communicated. Continual development of the network, including the recent addition of two park and ride sites, investment in new vehicles and sustained marketing over a long period, were all noted by the judges and made Express City Connect a very strong contender. SPECIAL COMMENDATION
EXPRESS CITY CONNECT STAGECOACH EAST SCOTLAND
BUS TIMES 30TH ANNIVERSARY BRIGHTON & HOVE BUS AND COACH COMPANY
Stagecoach East Scotland’s Express City Connect services operate across Fife, Perthshire, Dundee and Angus and extend to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Livingston. The routes are operated by luxury coaches, fitted with free Wi-Fi, airconditioning, power and USB sockets. The majority of the fleet have leather reclining seats and a toilet on-board and offer a comfortable and affordable travel option, appealing to commuters, day trippers and students. The varied target market requires extensive marketing to recognise and reach
Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company’s ‘Bus Times’, which celebrates its 30th birthday this autumn, is unique in the bus industry for its longevity despite competition from an array of digital communication channels. Research showed that passengers wanted comprehensive bus timetables in one booklet regardless of operator. Brighton & Hove took the initiative to meet this need, covering every bus service run by all bus companies in the city. Printed twice a year, the publication includes a service summary indexed by destination and number, 37
Miles of smiles are promised on board morebus’s Purbeck Breezer services across Dorset to Swanage. Customers can enjoy bird’s eye views of the Jurassic Coast and Purbeck countryside all for the price of a normal bus ticket. Operating five stunning routes along the south coast, morebus was keen to improve the operational reliability and customer opinion of the tour and invested £1.2m in brand new open top, Euro 6 buses and a complete rebrand resulting in increased ridership and revenue. The judges said that Go South Coast deserves credit for being able to operate the Purbeck Breezer routes commercially, no doubt helped by the investment in new vehicles and the supporting marketing effort over a sustained period. FINALIST
BUSBOOST SOUTH YORKSHIRE PASSENGER TRANSPORT EXECUTIVE
Busboost is a transport initiative for South Yorkshire businesses and organisations that encourages commuters who normally travel by car, to switch to public transport for part, or all, of their journey. Participants are provided with a 28 day smartcard, enabling free use of local bus, tram and train services during the ‘travel trial’ period. Since launch of the Busboost programme in 2012, over 14,600 individuals have benefited from the opportunity to trial public transport as a commuting option. Significantly, 77% of trial users would recommend public transport and 79% will continue to use public transport for all or part of their daily commute, achieving significant modal shift. The judges considered this to be a good entry with plenty of research to back up its claims of measurable success, and they felt that this kind of scheme could be replicated elsewhere.
LEADERSHIP & INSPIRATION AWARD
This award is designed to recognise and reward outstanding performance in middle or senior management in the UK bus industry.
STEPHEN KING GO NORTH EAST
Joining Go North East at 16 on a Youth Traineeship, Stephen King has led the marketing, commercial and customer services teams for several years, working his way up the ranks to become the companyâ€™s first Head of Marketing before becoming Head of Commercial and Retail. With enviable team and external relationships, Stephen works across the business, affording him a rich understanding of the company and key relationships at group and senior management level. Stephen oversees the commercial area, which comprises network 38
design, business development, and retail and marketing communications, along with corporate and stakeholder engagement. He has introduced a number of innovations into the business including transport and regional firsts in the areas of ticketing, technology and fares. He has a wide cross-section of responsibilities including supporting commercial targets, shaping all internal and external communications, bus branding and wider marketing and new innovations. Stephen is a well-regarded and innovative leader within the company. Passionate, committed and a good ambassador for the bus industry are all terms used by the judges to describe Stephen
record of success was recognised in his recent promotion to General Manager of the Shepherds Bush and Stamford Brook garages. The judges were pleased him recognised. BRONZE WINNER
ANTHONY CARVER-SMITH NOTTINGHAM CITY TRANSPORT
“You’ll struggle to find a more committed, hard-working, ‘eats, sleeps, breathes NCT’ person than Anthony Carver-Smith,” says his employer Nottingham City Transport. Fascinated by buses as a child, Anthony turned his spare time passion into his full time career when he came to the attention of NCT’s management team while still a student. NCT was under an often harsh media spotlight during 2001’s big service change, but the company noticed someone regularly defending them in a very eloquently and factually correct way online and in the ‘readers’ letters’ section of the local press. This was Anthony. His loyalty to the company and passengers has been steadfast ever since. Often ‘forced’ to take holidays, never without his mobile running NCT’s social media, ‘Mr NCT’ as he’s affectionately known, plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth-running of NCT. The judges commented that Anthony is clearly someone who loves his job and is very dedicated. He is a skilled communicator and has been innovative with social media at Nottingham City Transport.
2 1. Stephen King 2. Jim Small 3. Anthony Carver-Smith 4. Mariusz Przybylski
MARIUSZ PRZYBYLSKI ABELLIO LONDON
King. A very well written entry showed a good track record of successful branding, innovation and sponsorship, and the judges were impressed with how Stephen has made Go North East part of the region’s business community, bringing benefits to the company. SILVER WINNER
JIM SMALL RATP DEV LONDON
Jim Small’s performance as an exceptional leader and innovator can be summed up in his role as Operations Manager of RATP Dev London’s Shepherd’s Bush bus garage. A large central London garage open 24 hours a day and with a cosmopolitan workforce,
addressing the inherent problems that existed at the depot when Jim arrived in November 2013 was an enormous task. Jim didn’t just rise to the challenge - he blossomed in the role. As well as seeing a manager who had once been a driver himself, colleagues saw a boss who learned their names, chatted to them and took an interest in their lives. Morale began to improve, as did performance. Jim won over the workforce and engaged all members of the operating team in his vision to make Shepherd’s Bush great, which meant bringing together a disparate group of demotivated drivers to create ‘Team Shepherd’s Bush’. Jim’s passion for the job, and a good track 39
“Mariusz Przybylski is the gold standard of leaders,” enthuses his employer Abellio London. He leads the company’s schedules team in the vital work they do to make the business successful. Working with key internal and external stakeholders he communicates effectively while focussing on his team, their development and succession planning to deliver a top class service. Taking feedback from drivers and the performance team, as well as results on delays and early running, Mariusz translates the data into robust schedules that go on to deliver excellent reliability for Abellio London’s customers. Across the business the company has nothing but praise for him, commenting that nothing fazes him and that he is all about solutions and how things can be made to work, coming up with innovative ways to tackle challenges. The judges were pleased to see this unsung, but very important, area of the business being recognised. They were impressed to hear Abellio London say that Mariusz is delivering the best schedules the company has ever had.
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ambition for UK-wide coverage
Congratulations to all the winners at the UK Bus Awards 2017 from Steps Drama and Transport for London, delivering customer experience training for 25,000 bus drivers.
YOUNG MANAGER OF THE YEAR
This award focuses on the talent we will all rely on to deliver our bus services for the next 20 years and more: the young managers, currently delivering and planning services at the sharp end - but whose skills will be vitally important over the coming years as the bus increasingly comes to be seen as an aid to reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change.
1. Dan Bassett
DAN BASSETT READING BUSES
Dan Bassett is responsible for the management of Reading Buses’ day-to-day operations at depot level. This involves overseeing 448 drivers across the Reading and Newbury depots, 15 control room and supervisory staff, a resources supervisor, a new revenue supervisor, two Assistant Operations Managers and an Operations Manager. Dan is the key ingredient to making operations run smoothly. He motivates and leads his teams to ensure services are delivered in the best and most efficient way possible. Most importantly, he’s delivered tangible results making Reading Buses services better for customers and employees. Last year, reliability and punctuality improved, a whole network in Newbury was mobilised within just five weeks and there are 17% fewer accidents per 100,000 miles. Dan has achieved all of this, plus a promotion to Head of Operations, at the age of 29. That’s testament to his hard work and commitment to Reading Buses and in making changes to
the business to ensure that he gets the best out of all his employees, with a focus on the end-customer. The judges said that Dan impressed them as a well rounded manager who placed a big emphasis on the importance of people in the organisation - both staff and customers. His focus in his current role on reliability and punctuality is bringing benefits to Reading Buses passengers. A strong candidate and a very worthy Gold Winner. SILVER WINNER
MARK MAGEEAN STAGECOACH MANCHESTER
Mark Mageean was appointed Operations Manager at Stagecoach Manchester’s Wigan depot in autumn 2014, following his successful turnaround of the company’s newly acquired Middleton depot where Mark created a ‘family’ atmosphere, finding ways to balance the needs of employees such as offering flexible working while ensuring the needs of the business were met. In his current position at the Wigan 41
depot, Mark demonstrates an analytical approach to managing punctuality issues, using feedback from staff and customers and analysing GPS data to make improvements to punctuality. Well known as a friendly and approachable leader, Mark is well respected among staff where he’s worked. He’s a firm believer that you should not expect people to do something you would not be prepared to do yourself and makes sure that he goes out driving in service at least a couple of times a month. His industry knowledge, commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service combined with his management skills and personality makes him a great asset to the company. Mark impressed the judges with his turn around of the Wigan depot, and they think he has a bright future ahead of him. BRONZE WINNER
BEN MANSFIELD TRANSDEV BLAZEFIELD
Ben Mansfield joined the bus industry six years ago and worked across a range of
YOUNG MANAGER OF THE YEAR
2. Mark Mageean 3. Paul Hickinbottom 4. Dean O'Neill 5. Ben Mansfield
disciplines, showing a flair for marketing. After turning around a failing company as Service Performance Manager, he took the skills he learned in service delivery into a marketing position at Transdev Blazefield, being promoted to Marketing and Communications Manager in the middle of last year. He appreciates the difficulties of day to day running of buses, and works with people to ensure that a marketing campaign delivers. He has also gained respect from the operations department by driving buses to photo calls himself, and has shown that he is willing to tackle issues practically by assisting with ftting graphics to buses. Ben goes beyond the role of a manager, and beyond the expectations of what an employer would expect of a person of his age and experience, a person who finds it easy to engage with directors and senior managers who have a significant experience advantage to him. He is determined and hard-working, and yet maintains a calm and friendly approach which is perfect in the product-led business undergoing transformation in which he works. He buys into - and helped create Transdev Blazefield’s vision to be an ‘Amazing Bus Company’. He continues to excel at all tasks thrown at him, and is passionate about the industry. Ben impressed the judges with his ability to
bring knowledge gained from an operational background into his current role in marketing - where he is excelling - becoming a very good all rounder. FINALIST
PAUL HICKINBOTTOM ARRIVA MIDLANDS
As its Engineering Manager, Paul Hickinbottom runs one of the top performing Arriva bus depots in the country, South Wigston in Leicestershire. He combines a thorough, methodical management style with an open and approachable attitude and works hard to motivate and inspire his team to perform at their best. A team player through and through, Paul sets a great example for everyone at the depot and is a believer in mentoring his staff, with one of his apprentices winning an apprentice of the year award with his support. A great communicator, Paul can work closely and effectively with staff at all levels from senior manager to apprentice, and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service. He has full accountablity for a P&L in excess of £3m. Described as a bright young engineer who has risen through the ranks, the judges thought Paul is doing a first class job in a difficult environment. 42
DEAN O’NEILL RATP DEV LONDON
As an excellent Driver Training Supervisor and now a Garage Risk Manager at RATP Dev London’s Park Royal depot, Dean O’Neill has the hallmarks of a first-class manager. He is inspiring, motivating and never takes his eye off those accident reduction figures. Despite achieving a huge reduction over the past couple of years, he always sees scope for improvement and hopes to gain a further 10% reduction this year. The garage used to be above its target figure for accidents, but is now the lowest. He has a great relationship with drivers and prides himself on knowing each one by name. He is always willing to share a joke with drivers, but he’s always serious about safety. His expectations are high but Dean’s engaging personality and frank, straight-tothe-point approach wins drivers over very quickly. Because of this, Dean is confident that he can walk into any bus garage with a high accident rate and change the culture to reduce it. The judges were very pleased to see this entry, which comes from a part of the business that is often not championed, but is one where Dean is clearly excelling.
UNSUNG HEROES AWARD
This award is presented to one or more individuals who perform junior or middle management roles in the industry and are known for their hard work, loyalty and devotion to duty. In many cases, the ‘Unsung Heroes’ are those who keep the wheels turning against the odds; no transport operator can do without such people – even though they often slave away for years with no recognition save their own satisfaction in a service delivered and a job well done.
* UKBA Special Commendation for Outstanding Service
CHRIS LEONTI ARRIVA LONDON
For over 40 years Chris Leonti has tirelessly maintained and managed Arriva London’s buses to ensure the travelling public receives the best customer experience. Chris is the Engineering Manager at Arriva London’s Tottenham garage, overseeing a fleet of 220 buses. He is renowned for his positive attitude amongst his colleagues. His self-motivation and will to succeed has made him the ‘go to’ man for both new and experienced engineering managers, and a person they lean on for advice, motivation and guidance. Chris is continually aware of the bigger picture and is often the first to offer a loan of buses from his existing fleet to assist colleagues at other garages. His desire to work closely with every function within the business has seen the traditional resistance between operating and engineering teams disappear. His unrivalled approach and total dedication to his role has made him a very popular member of the engineering team within the business. The judges were impressed with the contribution that Chris has made over 40 years in the bus industry, noting his ability to break down the barriers between engineering and operations. The judges also commented on the very low lost mileage figures he has achieved in such a large depot. GOLD WINNER
CHRIS PLUMMER TRENTBARTON
Since starting as trentbarton’s roadside officer in 2006, Chris Plummer has been dedicated
to ensuring at every bus stop trentbarton, and sister operators Kinchbus, Notts&Derby and TM Travel’s, has easy to understand and up to date information about services. That’s more than 6,000 pieces of roadside infrastructure. Whilst software will produce the timetable for each given bus stop, Chris ensures that it is correct and easy to understand from that particular location, making changes as necessary. He also ensures that the information is visually appealing. He’s even persuaded a local authority to paint its bus stop poles in company colours where the stop is exclusively served by services from his company. Back at the depots, Chris fine-tunes the fonts and logos on the buses’ LED displays to match the company branding, making it clearer for customers. He’s also been known to paint the railings at a bus station to maintain the brand image. Chris ensures accuracy in everything he undertakes. Chris is the man that looks after the bus stops for trentbarton and its sister companies, and who the judges described as the classic unsung hero working in an area that receives little attention, and yet which is so important to customers. With more than 10 years in this role, Chris has shown dedication and ability. SPECIAL COMMENDATION*
LYNNE NAPPIN ARRIVA MIDLANDS
Lynne Nappin has been a loyal and hardworking employee for Arriva Midlands and its various predecessors in Aylesbury for over 30 years. Lynne has worked with over 20 depot managers during this time, assisting all of them with her knowledge of the depot, 44
its staff and the industry as a whole. Lynne is someone who always puts other people’s needs in front of her own. She is naturally helpful and thoughtful, going the extra mile for anyone who seeks her assistance. Lynne’s role is mainly focussed on the day to day administration of the depot, especially on the operations side. She is also responsible for organisation of files, including driver files, legal paperwork, health and safety documents and various other important information. Accounting is also central to the role, Lynne also deals with payroll, issuing petty cash and sometimes issuing season tickets to the public. Lynne does much more than is in her job description to ensure that the depot is operating to the best of its ability. Another classic unsung hero, said the judges, citing Lynne’s 30 years working with 20 different depot managers to keep things running smoothly. SPECIAL COMMENDATION*
ASHLEY BURROWS BRIGHTON & HOVE BUS AND COACH COMPANY
Electrical Technician Ashley Burrows is responsible for Brighton & Hove’s state-ofthe-art real-time information kit. The device, which drivers log into when they start their shift, looks like a big mobile phone and sits just above the eye-line on a purpose-built bracket. The radio communication system is built into it and allows the real time control room supervisors to call and message drivers individually, in groups - such as all those on a certain route - or every driver in the company simultaneously. Brighton & Hove is the only
fare guides and make sure all the correct details have been included. He will again quite often check this in his own time. The judges said that Jeff has provided an invaluable service to passengers over many years. They noted that he is very customer oriented and were pleased to see his talents being recognised.
STUART ROUGHLEY STAGECOACH MANCHESTER
1. Chris Leonti 2. Chris Plummer 3. Neil Roughton 4. Ashley Burrows 5. Stuart Roughley 6. Jeff Stubbs 7. Lynne Nappin 8. Martin Brand
bus company, with the exception of Transport for London, to use such a device, something about which Ashley is very proud. He rearranged his own working hours so he could work late into the night to repair buses with defective equipment, so they’re not out on the road a second day with non-functioning equipment. The company only has one person ensuring the real time system is so reliable. Luckily that man is Ashley Burrows. Focussing on a very narrow area, the judges commented that passengers are increasingly reliant upon the accuracy of real-time information systems, so it’s good to see that Ashley and his work are being recognised.
across the Scottish operating companies. A current initiative involves working with suppliers to explore the environmental and economic benefits of using water-based paints, which again cuts costs. Working to the highest standards and returning buses to customer service in a timely and cost effective manner are core to Martin’s day-to-day activity. The judges noted Martin’s sustained contribution to the bus industry over the past 36 years, starting as an apprentice, and working his way up to his current high level role in a large engineering centre. SPECIAL COMMENDATION*
MARTIN BRAND FIRST GLASGOW
JEFF STUBBS GO SOUTH COAST (BLUESTAR)
First Glasgow’s Caledonia depot is the biggest in the UK and Major Repair Business Manager, Martin Brand, leads a highly skilled team of 26 staff at the depot’s state-of-the-art regional repair centre. Martin started as an apprentice in the bus industry 36 years ago and has worked his way up to a management role. Martin and his team provide a vital support function with responsibility for the repair and maintenance of more than 1,350 vehicles across Scotland. The centre has developed high levels of self sufficiency in parts manufacture and has achieved unique recognised repairer status from Alexander Dennis and Wrightbus Customcare. Martin is constantly exploring new ways to innovate and achieve cost efficiency. One example is the mass production of pre-painted aluminium body panels for distribution
‘Jeff-in-the-Box’ is probably one of the best known members of the Bluestar team. Southampton Travel Adviser Jeff Stubbs acquired this nickname when he used to spend his days working in the so-called Bluestar Box - a small blue cube-shaped portable building which served as the company’s travel office before it opened a shop. The name stuck and Jeff is as happy assisting new drivers understand the various ticket products as he is helping members of the public seeking information. Part of Jeff ’s weekly routine is to send all the sales figures for the shop to the accounts department. When the shop is busy, he often doesn’t have time to do this in his working day and will take this home to complete so he can send the data off in time. Jeff has become the company’s go-to person to proof check new 45
Stuart Roughley was appointed Operations Manager for Stagecoach Manchester in 1998 and has worked at three of the company’s largest depots. His current role is at the Stockport garage where he leads a team of 425 drivers, 10 allocators, four managers and two administrators. An inspiring leader, Stuart has set the standard for fellow Operations Managers to follow. Stuart has developed into one of the most passionate, knowledgeable and experienced Operations Managers in the industry and is credited with mentoring many of the bus industry’s leaders in their first formative years as a trainee. He has coached a company record of 14 management trainees including a number who now hold very senior positions - quite an achievement! The judges described Stuart’s entry as impressive. It documents his contribution over 20 years, often in difficult circumstances, at several depots, which is now being recognised. SPECIAL COMMENDATION*
NEIL ROUGHTON ARRIVA MIDLANDS
Neil Roughton started in the bus industry 46 years ago as a management trainee with London Transport. A succession of operational and management roles followed before he moved out of London in 1988 to the Aylesbury depot of what was then Luton & District. Arriva took over the company, followed by Wycombe Bus, and Neil looked after the scheduling for both depots until his retirement in April. Neil has regularly gone above and beyond his duty to ensure that his schedules are effective. He spent a lot of time regularly travelling on the routes of the two depots to ensure his schedules were still relevant. In addition, Neil drove the same shift on a Sunday night on the 280 service for 25 years, which gained him respect with the drivers at the Aylesbury depot who regarded him fondly as ‘Nelly.’ The depot has seen a high number of young managers come and go and Neil has supported all of them. Neil’s exceptionally long service in the bus industry over the past 46 years was recognised by the judges, who noted that even after his official retirement earlier this year, he still drives the occasional shift.
ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
This award is designed to recognise, reward and inspire management talent in the engineering disciplines of the UK bus industry. The award is promoted with the assistance of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers. It is open to all people employed at, or above, the supervisory grade in the engineering function of bus operating, maintenance or manufacturing companies or organisations. Shortlisted nominees are required to make a presentation to the judges, and take part in a question and answer session with them.
PAUL BRANIGAN FIRST SCOTLAND EAST & MIDLAND BLUEBIRD
In his role as Engineering Manager for First Scotland East and Midland Bluebird, Paul Branigan has set Deans Depot in Livingston on a continuous improvement programme by adopting the First Bus Wrench Award System and through delivery of a ‘5S’ strategy. The depot now operates at Wrench Award Gold standard, having passed through Bronze and Silver categories in just 18 months. Paul has reduced lost mileage and the number of repeat defects, which is reflected in breakdown and recovery reduction. He has also been pivotal in improving maintenance standards, branding, vehicle cleanliness and customer comfort. Alongside this, Paul and the engineering team have become contributors to community activity through partnership with West Lothian College and other projects. The depot has also achieved ISO 9001 quality management and ISO 14001 environmental certification under his leadership. The judges were very impressed with the way Paul had turned around Deans Depot, and especially the way he has built up a
team of staff who now all support each other and continue to make improvements. They commented that Paul is a good advocate for continual improvement, which is reaping benefits. SILVER WINNER
leadership skills and how he turned around a garage over a short period of time, fostering a good team atmosphere. They were particularly pleased to see how he had got the engineering and operations teams working together. BRONZE WINNER
PAUL HICKINBOTTOM ARRIVA MIDLANDS
As its Engineering Manager, Paul Hickinbottom runs one of the top performing Arriva bus depots in the country, South Wigston in Leicestershire. He combines a thorough, methodical management style with an open and approachable attitude and works hard to motivate and inspire his team to perform at their best. A team player through and through, Paul sets a great example for everyone at the depot and is a believer in mentoring his staff, with one of his apprentices winning an apprentice of the year award as a result of his support. A great communicator, Paul can work closely and effectively with staff at all levels from senior manager to apprentice, and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service. He has full accountablity for a P&L in excess of £3m. Paul impressed the judges with his 46
COLIN CLOSE ARRIVA NORTH EAST
Described by his employer Arriva North East as Mr Sincerity, Head of Engineering Colin Close builds on his success, striving for the next opportunity, yet never blows his own trumpet. Colin manages by wearing his heart on his sleeve, continuously demonstrating immense passion and enthusiasm for “right first time” within engineering and the development of his staff. He has a particular rapport and has gained the respect of his staff and peers. Colin has achieved solid continuing progress with his depots, achieving two gold and five silver awards in Arriva’s Group engineering standards. Under his guidance, the depots are showing a strong and stable reduction in engineering lost miles, which has improved year on year for the past 10 years. The judges praised Colin’s contribution to engineering over a number of years.
1. Paul Branigan 2. Peter Graybrook 3. Paul Hickinbottom 4. Colin Close 5. Steve Martin 6. Kerry Cousins
PETER GRAYBROOK ARRIVA MIDLANDS
STEVE MARTIN NATIONAL EXPRESS WEST MIDLANDS
Under Peter Graybrook’s engineering management, Shrewsbury and Oswestry have become the best performing garages across the whole of Arriva UK Bus. He has also been pivotal in the depot achieving the Investors In People Bronze award. Inspiring his team to achieve their very best has been Peter’s mission at the garages he runs, and their performance has been the greatest testament to his success. Experienced and knowledgeable, Peter has the personality, focus and determination to inspire his team as a whole and mentor individuals. Everyone responds to his style of management and his award schemes are instrumental in building team spirit and driving engineering excellence. He treats his team with a Free Friday Breakfast every week that they hit their KPIs. Peter also runs a monthly KPI achievement award, to further encourage excellence among members of his team. The judges commented that Peter has clearly identified what he needs to do to motivate his team, and has made incremental changes that have reaped big benefits.
Steve Martin has been Engineering Manager at the National Express West Midlands Walsall garage for nearly two years. Thanks to Steve’s management of the depot, those two years have seen a marked improvement in performance and safety. Just one of his changes was devising and organising the new fuel and shunt process, meaning Steve consulted with staff from various teams drivers, cleaners, engineers and admin - as well as management, safety teams and unions. The smooth introduction of this new regime is testament to Steve’s open, transparent and practical approach to persuading and influencing all parties involved right from the start. This year, Steve has led his team to achieving ISO 9001 accreditation and the Institute of Road Transport Engineers Workshop accreditation. These two awards highlight the standards that the Walsall vehicle workshop has reached, demonstrating compliance in key areas such as premises, equipment, technical and clerical staff, management, documentation, quality and appearance. 47
Steve impressed the judges with his budget savings in a large depot which houses coaches as well as buses. FINALIST
KERRY COUSINS NOTTINGHAM CITY TRANSPORT
Nottingham City Transport’s Assistant Engineering Manager, Kerry Cousins, has made outstanding achievements and has shown dedication to his colleagues, managers and employer. Not only is he an exceptional engineer and leader - rising up through the ranks at NCT’s Trent Bridge depot to a managerial role in only seven years - but he also didn’t hesitate to take on the added responsibilities of his manager, Gary, when he suffered a severe stroke. Kerry immediately stepped into the breach taking on procedures and duties way beyond his remit, managing and placating his team during a difficult and unsettling time, working long hours and cancelling his annual leave, demonstrating his capabilities, commitment and compassion. The judges thought that Kerry is a very genuine and thoroughly competent engineer, and particularly impressed with his efforts to bring on the next generation of engineers.
Congratulations to all our 2017 finalists Gold
Paul Branigan, First Scotland East & Midland Bluebird (Engineer of the Year)
Beat the Rise – mTicket campaign, First West of England (Marketing Initiative of the Year)
Vantage, First Manchester and Partners (Making Buses a Better Choice)
York Park & Ride Electric Buses, First York (Environment Award)
Special Special Commendation Commendation
Martin Brand, First Glasgow (Outstanding service)
PROUD SPONSORS OF
THE UK BUS AWARDS
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR COLLEAGUES GOLD
Innovation in Road Safety CLIFF OTTLEY-THISTLETHWAITE Driver - Stamford Brook Garage
Leadership & Inspiration Award JIM SMALL General Manager
HIGHLY COMMENDED DEAN O’NEILL YOUNG MANAGER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS Bus and the Community Award Bath Bus Company with Industry Colleagues, Imberbus RATP Dev London - Tolworth Garage, Working with Young Offenders New Horizons Award RATP Dev UK, Slide Bristol Putting Passengers First Yellow Buses, Passenger App and One Hour Ticket Luke Rees Pulley Charitable Trust Award for Top London Bus Driver RATP Dev London WWW.RATPDEV.COM
TOP NATIONAL BUS DRIVER: THE CHRIS MOYES MEMORIAL AWARD This Award is presented to the bus driver who has best demonstrated excellent performance from the customer perspective in the 12 month period to the end of May each year. To win the title of Top National Bus Driver, entrants need to go that extra mile to provide the customers’ ideal; a driver who is friendly, helpful, conscientious, mindful of passengers’ comfort and well-being – in short, a true professional and a worthy ambassador for the job. This award is presented in memory of Chris Moyes, whose distinguished career in the industry was tragically cut short by his death in 2006. Formerly chief executive of Go-Ahead Group, Chris was passionate about the importance of people to the industry.
1. Dale French 2. Phil Hadley 3. Maks Pruszewicz
MAKS PRUSZEWICZ READING BUSES
Maks Pruszewicz has a strong history of driving and customer roles and combining these in bus driving he’s found a job and a company that he loves. This shines through every day in his work, helping him to become the Reading Buses ‘Driver of the Year’ as well as taking the coveted ‘Star of the Year’ accolade. With numerous customer compliments for being friendly and smiley, he’s gained particular praise for helping a lady in labour, assisting wheelchair users, waiting for someone on crutches and even for respecting a funeral cortege. Regardless of the situation, Maks is always super enthusiastic and smiling! He’s got the perfect ingredients for a brilliant bus driver: excellent mystery traveller reports, zero accidents in three years, zero sickness in five years and a huge pile of customer compliments. The judges noted that Maks seems to have all the requirements for a gold winning bus driver. He is well liked by customers and
his work colleagues, has received lots of commendations from passengers and has achieved a 100% score in Reading Buses own mystery traveller programme. What more is there to say? SILVER WINNER
DALE FRENCH TRANSDEV BLAZEFIELD
“Dale French is one of the most cheerful and outgoing people you could wish to meet,” says his enthusiastic employer Transdev Blazefield. Dale drives out of the York depot and is loved by his customers. His background in tourism allows Dale to go beyond the traditional role of a bus driver by understanding he is there to provide a high level of customer service. A professional driver, he is keen to add to the company communications by engaging with customers one on one and even on his own Twitter page to let his customers know what’s happening. He is a regular driver on Cityzap, but relishes the opportunity to drive City Sightseeing for overtime. He is both passionate and interested in both the 49
company and its customers. The judges noted that Dale sees his role not merely to satisfy his customers, but to delight them. He readily adapts to the different kinds of customer interaction needed when driving the Cityzap or City Sightseeing services. BRONZE WINNER
PHIL HADLEY BRIGHTON & HOVE BUS AND COACH COMPANY
Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company’s driver Phil Hadley gets so many customer compliments, the joke is they’re no longer counted, but weighed. You only have to mention his name around the depot in Hove and you’ll hear, “Ah, he’s the one that gets all the compliments . . .” Phil is authentic and it’s this that totally disarms his customers. His insistence on chatting to customers as they board and alight breaks down social barriers and reminds his passengers how much they want to belong, feel valued and be part of a community. As Phil says: “The only reason ➢
TOP NATIONAL BUS DRIVER: THE CHRIS MOYES MEMORIAL AWARD I do what I do is because I want to build a better community to live in.” “This entry put a smile on my face and made me want to get on his bus,” commented one of the judges. The panel also noted Phil’s excellent service record over many years. FINALIST
SEAN THOMAS ARRIVA MIDLANDS
Sean Thomas has been driving buses for Arriva Midlands out of Aylesbury for the last four years and in that time has built up an impressive collection of customer accolades. Courteous, positive, smartly-dressed and helpful, Sean has delighted passengers across the region with his caring attitude and determination to go the extra mile in providing outstanding customer care. His willingness to get stuck into hard work, his professionalism and his flexibility with working patterns and locations, coupled with an easy-going and cheerful attitude, have won him the respect of colleagues and management alike. Customers have frequently held Sean up as an example to others, and he has embraced the opportunity to pass on his experience by becoming an inservice trainer to act as teacher and mentor to new Arriva drivers. The judges noted the large number of excellent commendations from his customers who highlighted Sean’s caring attitude and professionalism.
4 4. Sean Thomas 5. Jayson Heath 6. Brett Haskett 7. Neil Atherton
NEIL ATHERTON ARRIVA NORTH WEST AND WALES
Neil Atherton is based at the Arriva North West and Wales Runcorn depot and is described as a credit to Arriva. Neil has won the company’s own national driver of the year once and a regional award twice. He has exceptional customer service skills and has received more commendations than anyone else at the Runcorn depot. When a major diversion was in place last year, Neil volunteered to be put on the front line dealing with the affected customers which he turned into a positive exchange with customers. Neil jumps into every situation with 100% commitment. Clearly a very popular driver with his customers, the judges were impressed with Neil’s customer service skills and the high number of commendations he receives. FINALIST
JAYSON HEATH KINCHBUS
Jayson Heath is only 23 but has already proved himself to be an outstanding bus driver working from the Kinchbus Loughborough depot. He joined the company from the
Greggs bakery chain, and even at his interview it was clear that he was a young man who was extremely comfortable dealing with lots of people and making them feel good about being a customer of his employer. He’s all smiles and has the gift of making people laugh and feel better about their day. But he’s not just a positive personality, Jayson, who drives the skylink service which links Leicester, Loughborough and Derby with East Midlands Airport, cares about his customers, as was illustrated when a lady passenger approached Jayson on arrival at the airport asking if he had seen her husband get off the bus. She explained he had dementia and was growing increasingly concerned about his safety as they had not been able to sit together. Jayson safely left his bus and found the man inside the terminal building. He was able to convince him that he should return to the bus and carry on the journey with his wife. All this was done with no fuss, and Jayson explained to his other passengers why he had stopped the bus. He has been nominated by his colleagues for the first ever Kinchbus Driver of the Year award. As Kinchbus’ first Driver of the Year, Jayson impressed the judges with his consistently high mystery traveller scores. 50
BRETT HASKETT ARRIVA MIDLANDS
“Brett is one of the genuine, home-bred superstars of our industry - consistently acting as a real customer champion and a passionate ambassador for travelling by bus,” enthuses his employer, Arriva Midlands. Well known in the Tamworth community for his cheerful nature and ‘going the extra mile’, he is something of a local celebrity. In all of his work, from dressing up as Father Christmas during the festive period through to welcoming new drivers and training them in his recently appointed role as a mentor, Brett makes a significant contribution to bus travel in the West Midlands. Brett works well as part of a team but is also known for his initiative, and ability to think beyond the immediate situation. He is popular around the garage, being a wonderful colleague and friend to all. Brett impressed the judges with his professionalism, as well as his willingness to help colleagues and get involved in activities for the local community and delight his passengers, such as by dressing up as Father Christmas.
Congratulations to all the winners and finalists at the UK Bus Awards 2017...
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ENVIRONMENT COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY
Nottingham electrics drive down bus costs New deliveries now mean city has over 50 electric buses in service ELECTRIC BUSES
Nottingham City Council has inaugurated a fleet of 13 full size electric buses and associated charging equipment that have been supplied by China’s BYD. The vehicles have been facilitated by a £1.4m grant from the government’s Green Bus Fund. The remaining funds of £2.1m have been raised via the Nottingham City Council Workplace Parking Levy. The introduction of the vehicles builds on the existing fleet of 45 electric buses that are currently in service in the city. As part of the contract BYD is providing a five-year warranty on its power train components based on the company’s Iron-Phosphate battery technology. The buses for Nottingham City Council also have a comprehensive
The 13 buses have been introduced thanks to government grants and funding from Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy
service support package which includes training for drivers and maintenance engineers. The Nottingham contract is the first outside London that has been captured by BYD and follows on from the on-going introduction of over 50 vehicles in the capital in partnership with UK-based bus builder Alexander Dennis. “These new buses are a welcome addition to our Link Bus services,” said Nick McDonald,
BYD wins major bus contract in Italy Chinese firm to deliver electric buses to Piedmont region Chinese electric bus manufacturer BYD has captured a major contract from Italy’s Gruppo Torinese Trasporti (GTT) to deliver 19 BYD eBuses. It is Italy’s first big tender for full size electric buses and has a contract value of over 10m Euros. The vehicles will be introduced on the Piedmont
region’s urban transport networks and the contract calls for BYD to not only supply the vehicles, but also provide full service support for 10 years. This means that the vehicles will begin serving the major cities of Piedmont from summer 2017. “Thanks to the vision of GTT to make Turin green this order ensures that Italy, together with
Nottingham’s portfolio holder for business, growth and transport. “One of the key objectives to this project was to drive down running costs so that subsidised services like Link Bus can be retained at times of severe budget restraints, which we have so far achieved”. Handing over the buses, Frank Thorpe, BYD’s UK country manager, added: “Winning this order from Nottingham is of huge significance to BYD.”
the UK and France, is a top market for BYD in Europe,” said Isbrand Ho, managing director of BYD Europe. “We have consistently said that we would have ‘lift off’ in Europe when our order book exceeded 100 eBuses. These Italian orders bring the current total to over 100 units: we have truly arrived. What a way to end the year.” BYD says that several other Italian operators are now showing an interest in pure electric bus technology.
PRIMOVE POWERS Nottingham SWEDISH ROUTE
City Council Gold Winner: Environment
City trials Bombardier’s wireless charging solution ELECTRIC BUSES
Bombardier has launched the first installation of its Primove wireless power transfer charging system in Scandinavia with the introduction of a Primove-equipped electric hybrid bus in the Swedish city of Södertälje. It is the result of a Scania-led project group that has been exploring alternative mobility solutions in an effort to make sustainable and eco-friendly mobility a reality in the Swedish city. To facilitate the new bus, the last stop of Södertälje’s route 755 has been converted into a charging station that will enable the vehicle to quickly recharge. With up to 200 kW of power in just six to seven minutes the charging station can supply enough energy to serve the entire 10km-long route. Primove-equipped buses are operating in Berlin, Braunschweig and Mannheim in Germany, as well as in Bruges, Belgium.
IN BRIEF NEW MEADOW OFFSETS As part of the £133m project to electrify the railway between Gospel Oak and Barking, Network Rail and its main contractor Murphy have committed to creating a wildflower meadow within the new Walthamstow Wetlands. The Wetlands are part of a project to transform 10 reservoirs into a new 200 hectare urban reserve. Currently under construction, the new meadow will cover 1.3 hectares and aims to offset the impact from vegetation clearance on railway land due to the electrification project.
Wilde’s vision gets a new look for 2016
Transdev Blazefield Gold Winner: Sustained Marketing Excellence
Transdev Blazefield aims to redefine the trendsetting Route 36 service between Harrogate and Leeds with a radical new look It was in 2003 in a bathroom in Harrogate that Stuart Wilde, the then managing director of privately-owned bus group Andrew Garnett Blazefield, had a flash of Deputy Editor inspiration that was to change the face of the UK bus industry. Observing the half-hourly morning departures on the number 36 bus to Leeds operated by Blazefield’s Harrogate & District subsidiary, Wilde had been struck by the large number of people in suits who were taking the bus for their commute into Leeds each day. Meanwhile, GNER, the erstwhile East Coast Main Line intercity train operator, had just begun introducing its refurbished Mallard fleet. Wilde was impressed by the comfort GNER’s new seats offered. As Wilde shaved that morning in front of the mirror, he also began to ruminate on the black leather seats in his Jaguar car that sat in the driveway. The three strands of Wilde’s thinking collided. Suits on buses; GNER’s impressive new Mallard interiors, the leather seats in his Jag. Taken as one could this take the development of the 36 to the next phase? After winning approval from Giles Fearnley, today the managing director of FirstGroup’s UK bus division, but back then Wilde’s fellow shareholder in the Blazefield business before they sold it in early 2006 to French group Transdev, the project mushroomed. It led to the appearance of the first 36 double decker, with airline-style leather seats upstairs, at the 2003 bus and coach exhibition at the Birmingham NEC. It swiftly and effectively stole the show. There was much scepticism about the project. Many senior figures in the industry privately muttered that the concept would never work, but the naysayers were proven wrong with continual and substantial patronage growth in the years that followed. Since then it has been much emulated by
operators up and down the country. A refresh in 2010 saw the original fleet substantially rebuilt and refurbished in-house, at an eyewatering cost of around £80,000 per bus and, at the same time, frequencies lifted from every 20 minutes to every 15. Now the 36 is entering a new phase with new buses, new branding and a new emphasis that aims to build patronage with the tag line ‘riding, redefined’. “The 36 has succeeded because of a combination of good service quality, frequency, a distinctive image and strong marketing,” believes Alex Hornby, who 12 months ago followed in Wilde’s footsteps by becoming chief executive of the French-owned business. “It’s no wonder that the 36 has succeeded.” A lot of that growth has come from commuters who previously either drove into Leeds or took the train (after all, the cheaper 54-minute peak hour journey time between Harrogate and Leeds in the leather-seated, Wi-Fi-connected luxury of the 36 compares favorably with the 37-minute trip on a veteran Pacer train). However, Hornby adds that the 36 is not just about commuters into Leeds; there’s a genuine spread of customers across the day as both ends of the route are destinations in their own right. While the 15-minute frequencies, rising to every 10 minutes during the peak, introduced with the 2010 refresh have been maintained with last month’s relaunch, enhancements have been made to the timetable elsewhere. On
“The 36 has succeeded because of a combination of good service quality, frequency, a distinctive image and marketing” Alex Hornby
INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY
Arriva joins the race to reinvent the bus Those Friday and Saturday nights, the last bus from attending Leeds was previously just after 11pm. With the last month’s relaunch, this changes to 3.15 in the morning, UK Bus Summit a move that aims to appeal not only to the in London were youth market, but those taking in a show in Robert Jack asked whether Leeds and who may want to getEditor a bite to eat Managing they believe or have a drink or two before returning home. that the bus industry is facing Transdev has also teamed up withdecline. First Leeds structural Of those who to offer a £1 add-on that allows 36 two-thirds passengers agreed. responded, to use First’s network inDo theconventional city to accessbuses, key destinations, such as the universities, hospitals, operating on fixed routes to sporting facilities and shopping areas. fixed timetables, still meet our Meanwhile, some peak-hour trips now requirements in a changing world? operate non-stop between Moortown on the The smartphone has already periphery of Leeds andkilled the city via Scott thecentre pub quiz, could the Hall Road to speed upbus journey The 36 is be itstimes. next victim? also now penetrating theOf suburbs Harrogate course,ofyour smartphone at key times of the day.can’t Research revealed take you to thethat shops, but customers were using aitvariety ofthe means toto you. can take shops catch a 36 in the centrePurchases of Harrogate, including can be made quickly and www.passengertransport.co.uk no hassle. But if you still want to go
23 December 2016 | 15
Leon Daniel Gold Winner: Services to the Industry
Driving force: Alistair Hands
The technology at our fingertips is changing how we live our lives and our expectations. A growing number of bus operators are now responding
easily with no queues, no waiting,
40 | 5 February 2016
ArrivaClick Gold Winner: New Horizons
to the shops you can now get there by using your smartphone to order an Uber or similar app-based taxi service. All of this steadily erodes the bus, siphoning off passengers and taking away essential revenue. There are two responses. The first is to bring conventional buses to the party by offering information and payment on smartphones and other channels, because if you have become accustomed to the convenience of ‘one click’ ordering on Amazon you won’t take kindly to a retailer that requires you to fumble around for the exact change. This is what Stagecoach has sought to do with its new ‘TravelHero’ app (see page 20), which combines information and ticketing for
buses and taxis in East Kent in a convenient one-stop-shop. The second response is to reinvent bus services, building them around the mobile technology that now dominates our lives. Arriva is the latest company to try this approach, and Kent has again been selected as the testbed. Earlier this month, the Deutsche Bahn-owned group began a trial of an app-based, demand responsive minibus service in Sittingbourne. Initially, this new service, ArrivaClick (arrivaclick.co.uk), offers travel within a zone between Sittingbourne’s railway station and the nearby Kent Science Park, 2.5 miles away, but the ambition is to expand this initial catchment area in the coming weeks. The ArrivaClick model is part Uber, part bus. It’s very similar to Slide Bristol, the experimental app-based commuter service launched by RATP Dev last July (see panel). Once users have downloaded the ArrivaClick app to their iPhone or Android device they can book their ride. They select their preferred pick-up and drop-off, and the app does the rest. As a “cornerto-corner service”, ArrivaClick MACCLESFIELD MINIBUSES? Arriva is exploring the possibility of converting bus routes to minibus operation in Macclesfield, Cheshire, to reflect passenger loadings and to help reduce carbon emissions.
18 | 24 March 2017
offers travellers a pick-up point at a nearby corner and a drop-off “within a couple of streets” of their requested destination. This is to help ensure that trip times are as efficient as possible, even with multiple pick-ups. The technology that underpins the service has been provided through a partnership with Via, a New York based company which currently operates real time ride-sharing services in the Manhattan borough of New York, areas of Chicago, Washington DC and in areas of Orange County, California. Via was founded in 2012 by Israeli entrepreneurs Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, and is based on their experience with shared taxis in Israel. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is among the investors who have together put funding of over $107m into the venture. ArrivaClick’s fares are variable, although a launch promotion in early March offered all journeys for £1. A single journey within the initial zone typically costs £3.50, plus a £1.50 surcharge to cover credit/debit card processing costs. However, users can avoid this surcharge by registering for ‘credit bundles’ of £10, £20 or £50, and they can set up an automatic £20 top-up when their balance gets down to £10 so that they are never without credit. They can also bypass the surcharge by purchasing a seven-day pass for £30 or a 30-day pass for £110. Users can also earn extra credit by referring a friend, neighbour
Book and go: The ArrivaClick app
or colleague via email, Facebook, Twitter or SMS. The referrer and the referee each receive £7.50. ArrivaClick is operated by a fleet of five high specification Mercedes Sprinter minibuses, each featuring 12 leather seats, tables, charging points and free Wi-Fi. It’s the same model of minibus that Stagecoach is using on its high frequency ‘Little & Often’ service across the North Downs in Ashford, although on that service they have a 17-seat configuration. Arriva’s intention is for ArrivaClick to appeal to people who would not normally consider www.passengertransport.co.uk
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SERVICES TO THE INDUSTRY
1. Steven Salmon 2. Leon Daniels
The award for Services to the Bus Industry recognises a significant and sustained contribution to the success of the industry by an individual who has gone consistently beyond the call of normal duty to improve and promote the bus industry for its users or the wider community. The annual recipient of the award is decided by the management committee.
After graduation in 1981, Steven ran his own coach business for a time and was, in the mid-1980s, the local government officer responsible for schools transport in South West Surrey for Surrey County Council. He joined the British Bus Group (now part of Arriva) and was appointed Director and General Manager of the group’s Southend and Colchester subsidiaries in 1995. He joined the Confederation of Passenger Transport in July 1997 as Director of Policy Development and continues to serve in
that post. He has been hugely influential in shaping the industry’s response to several major pieces of legislation – as well as the day to day flow of economic, social and employment legislation which affects the industry. He is President of the International Road Transport Union’s Social Affairs Commission and a Vice President of its Passenger Transport Council. He is also a member of the employers’ delegations for European social dialogue in the road transport and urban transport sectors and one of the UK representatives on the EU Committee of the International Public Transport Union (UITP). In addition to his day job, Steven is a professional freelance organist and served as Choirmaster at St Mary’s Church Guildford between October 1997 and June 2013. The UKBA Management Committee paid tribute to Steven’s hard work and dedication to the industry for more than 30 years. In his role at CPT, he has worked tirelessly to get the industry’s point of view across at domestic and international level, and has been the source of wise counsel and thoughtful analysis of the many issues which the industry faces. GOLD WINNER
Leon Daniels joined the bus industry in 1984 at Ensignbus, a leading operator of sightseeing and London bus services. By the end of 53
the decade, he was running the company’s tendered bus operations. These were sold to Hong Kong-based CNT Group in December 1990 and Leon became MD of the newly established Capital Citybus company. In 1995 he led a management buyout of the company, but the business was sold to FirstGroup in July 1998. Between 1998 and 2011, he held a variety of posts at FirstGroup, including Managing Director, London, and latterly Operations Director UK Bus. He also worked for the group on projects in Hong Kong and the USA and served as a Director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport for six years from 2004. In April 2011, Leon joined Transport for London as Managing Director, Surface Transport. His first major task was to oversee the delivery of surface transport for the London 2012 Olympic Games, in what is now recognised as a hugely successful event. In addition to the bus network, Leon’s role at TfL includes London’s strategic road network, taxis, cycle hire, river services, London Overground, DLR, Emirates Air Line and Trams. In September 2017, he announced his intention to retire. In making this award, the Management Committee paid tribute to Leon’s leadership and inspiration throughout his career, but particularly in the run up to and during the 2012 Olympics. Despite the many challenges he has faced in some very tough jobs over the years, he has never lost his open-mindedness, slight irreverence and his sense of humour.
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON AWARD FOR LONDON BUS GARAGE OF THE YEAR
3 1. Brixton, Arriva London South 2. Brixton, Arriva London South 3. Twickenham, Abellio London 4. Twickenham, Abellio London 5. Sutton, Go-Ahead London 6. Sutton, Go-Ahead London 7. Barking, Stagecoach London 8. Willesden, Metroline Travel Limited
BRIXTON ARRIVA LONDON SOUTH
This is the award which benchmarks the performance of bus garages in London, and rewards the best with a cash prize to be used on facilities to benefit the team that delivers the best service on a day-to-day basis.
Team Brixton as Arriva London South describes the 400 staff at its Brixton garage, continually strives for excellence and has implemented further improvements over the past year. It ended last year without any staff lost mileage and has consistently topped the quarterly TfL Excess Waiting Time (the time passengers have to wait beyond what the timetable expects them to wait) table throughout the year. The garage has built on its mileage performance strategies to include enhanced root cause analysis to help prevent breakdowns and increase reliability. Staff engagement and morale has been strengthened with personal development initiatives for supervisors, and open forums and newsletters to keep everyone motivated towards targets. The garage has invested in new toilet and canteen facilities as well as engineering improvements including new pits. The team also works with the local community in support of Lambeth Bus Day as well as hosting local school and Scout trips to the garage to promote bus travel across London. To reinforce high standards, the garage has implemented a hall of fame 54
photoboard picturing managers congratulating and recognising staff achievement. Excellent staff engagement and significant involvement in the local community were picked out by the judges. They also commented on how well Brixton garage had taken on new routes seamlessly and still managed to improve performance. Overall this garage impressed the judges above all others in London to become the Gold Winner. SILVER WINNER
TWICKENHAM ABELLIO LONDON
Abellio London’s Twickenham garage is consistently a top performer, which the company puts down to empowering its managers and supervisors to bring about change. This has brought a wealth of new initiatives and generated a lot of enthusiasm for its 400 staff to become ‘Team Twickenham’ - a garage where new employees actively seek to work. ‘Customer is King’ is Abellio’s mantra, which the Twickenham garage took further by running forums with groups of drivers, mixing drivers with complaints and those with commendations in each group. There was a noticeable improvement in customer service scores and
Twickenham moved up the league tables. It’s also has the lowest collision rate in the company and a 100% MOT pass rate. The team spirit is overwhelming at the depot with numerous staff events and competitions making it a great place to work. A systematic approach, good internal engagement and high staff morale were all noted by the judges in what seems to be a very happy garage.
highlight is going through the bus wash while on the bus singing “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”! The judges were pleased to see that Barking had embraced Hello London, and had good staff engagement and motivation initiatives that were showing results in an improving operation.
WILLESDEN METROLINE TRAVEL LIMITED
Metroline Travel’s Willesden garage hosts the world’s first zero emission, all electric double decker buses, currently running on Route 98. Appropriate for a garage that prides itself on being dynamic and forward thinking, the team were able to overcome logistical and technical challenges to successfully launch this service. The 390 staff at Willesden are committed to delivering the very best service to their passengers and work as an engaged, involved and motivated team. There are a number of very active sports teams, including snooker, pool and football teams which regularly meet for garage matches, and garage outings to the seaside and shopping trips to France are also well supported, helping to build team spirit. Staff at Willesden actively celebrate cultural activities and festivals from Ramadan to Pride, making sure everyone is informed and able to support such events, including by arranging celebratory food. There are also twice yearly barbecues for all employees to get everyone together. The annual Garage Open Day is very popular with the local community and raises around £2,500 each time for local charities. Social activities and community involvement were picked out by the judges as being especially strong at Willesdon which was reflected in good performance figures.
SUTTON GO AHEAD LONDON
The London General Omnibus Company opened Sutton garage in January 1924, built at a cost of £30,000 with a capacity for 100 buses. Initially less than half of the garage was in use, but today the Go-Ahead London depot houses 103 buses, covering seven routes and with 330 employees enabling around 85,000 passenger journeys each day. Sutton has a great team of people with drive and passion to serve customers and achieve targets. It’s such a good place to work that staff tend to stay a long time. Eighty-seven members of staff have worked at Sutton for more than 15 years, 41 of them for more than 20 years and the longest serving member of staff has completed 43 years of service in the industry. As a driver put it: “Sutton has remained the feel good family garage, and staff are happy to go an extra mile. Once they start at Sutton they don’t want to leave.” The high number of employees with long service and the garage’s friendly atmosphere were noted by the judges.
BARKING STAGECOACH LONDON
Stagecoach London’s Barking Garage has over 400 bus drivers and 20 engineers, but still manages to have a strong team atmosphere. Despite the loss of two routes this summer, along with many long service drivers, the remaining drivers proved their dedication and commitment to their customers by continuing to work as a team to continue to provide a good service. The depot has a mix of very new and long service drivers who are all keen to assist each other to answer questions and ensure anyone new to the garage feels confident and comfortable. Fruit is available at the counter where drivers sign on and dates are provided during Ramadan. Many schools and nurseries in the local area have visited the garage, giving the opportunity for pupils to have a ride around the block to understand how to safely use the buses, and a few lucky ones get to sit in the driver’s cab. However, the
LUKE REES-PULLEY CHARITABLE TRUST AWARD FOR TOP LONDON BUS DRIVER Sponsored by
Luke Rees-Pulley was passionate about buses throughout his life, which was tragically cut short by murder. The trust founded in his name seeks to rekindle the pride and status of bus drivers in the capital to the levels seen in the 1930s - when to be a bus driver was to be a respected professional providing an essential service. This award is part of that process, recognising and rewarding top quality service and commitment. The award is presented to the London bus driver who has best demonstrated excellent performance from the customer perspective in the 12-month period to the end of June each year.
SABATINO BARBARINO ABELLIO LONDON
Tino, as Abellio London driver Sabatino Barbarino is known, is loved by his colleagues and customers. He’s a regular driver on the 109 route and shows a lot of empathy with both his customers on the bus and his colleagues in the Beddington garage where he works. One of his regular passengers is blind, so Tino always leaves his cab and helps the man onto the bus and takes him to a seat, after making an announcement to the other passengers so that they know the bus will stop for longer than usual. He consistently delivers a service that he thinks is quite normal, but it’s always above and beyond what you would expect to see from a London bus driver. His many passenger commendations show this, as do the feelings expressed by his colleagues. In a world where customer experience is so important, Tino is a star. The judges noted that not only is Sabatino popular with his colleagues, but the very high number of public commendations he receives shows that he’s popular with his customers too. He takes a family view of life and shows empathy to customers and colleagues alike, making him a worthy Gold Winner. SILVER WINNER
HELEN WEBSTER ARRIVA LONDON
Helen Webster’s contagious smile and friendly, professional approach in the role of bus driver were clear for everyone to see
and she quickly set examples for others to aspire to at Arriva London’s Enfield garage. It wasn’t long before Helen began receiving customer commendations, good driving observations and mystery traveller reports, a true reflection of her desire and aspirations to deliver the best service to her passengers. She regularly takes buses to local schools where she answers the pupils’ questions in a very engaging manner, often reading to them and singing with them. Helen is one of those individuals who has that rare ability to motivate those around her with merely her smile and personality. Her colleagues value her immensely and are often heard asking her for guidance and advice, knowing she has a fantastic relationship with her passengers. She regularly goes above and beyond her usual expected duty and is forever conscientious, hardworking and considerate to her colleagues and customers. The judges were impressed with Helen’s mystery traveller scores as well as her work in schools to encourage bus use. Her contagious smile clearly sets a good example to others. BRONZE WINNER
PETER WHITEMAN GO-AHEAD LONDON
Maintaining a 100% attendance record at work is quite an accomplishment, and GoAhead London driver Peter Whiteman has managed it for 27 years, something that he puts down to healthy eating and having a laugh! Peter is one of the senior drivers in the Sutton garage with an exemplary record of 27 accident free years of service. Peter started 56
driving a bus after being made redundant from his previous job in 1989 and loved every minute of it from when he first stepped into the cab. At present Peter is on the early turn rota which covers duties on three different London bus routes 151, 93 and 213. Peter is very professional and courteous towards his passengers and gives them time to be seated before pulling away from the stop and providing a very smooth ride. Peter’s accident-free driving record and 100% attendance over 27 years really impressed the judges. Consistently good mystery traveller reports show that Peter is one of London’s best bus drivers. SPECIAL COMMENDATION
OLIVER SALBRIS GO-AHEAD LONDON
Oliver Salbris had taken his bus out of Go-Ahead London’s Putney garage on 5th May this year as he does every morning. But on that day, Oliver was faced with an unexpected incident. A male jogger on Putney Bridge pushed an unsuspecting female pedestrian into the path of Oliver’s bus. He reacted instantly and swerved the vehicle away from the pedestrian just in time without hitting oncoming traffic. A very serious accident was avoided and the pedestrian was unharmed. Oliver has been universally commended for his attention and swift reactions in the media, but what wasn’t widely reported was that Oliver stopped the bus to check the welfare of the pedestrian. The judges considered that Oliver’s actions in safely swerving to miss the lady, and
customers have commented on how helpful his announcements have been. He generally engages with his customers as he sees that they respond positively to this interaction. Back at his garage, Altin is a great team player, a proud colleague who makes a positive contribution towards making Hounslow Heath one of the best garages in London. The judges noted that Altin was embracing new customer skills and the Hello London scheme, which have resulted in very good mystery traveller scores. FINALIST
ERIC FORDE RATP DEV LONDON
then stopping safely to look after her until the emergency services arrived, made him worthy of a special commendation. FINALIST
CLEMENT GRANT ARRIVA LONDON
Many bus drivers will go a whole career in the industry and receive a handful of commendations. Arriva London driver Clement Grant, on the other hand, has amassed an outstanding number to a point where the garage manager receives at least one a month. Many of Clement’s customers have commented about his infectious smile and his professional and polite demeanour, some going as far as to say his actions had made their day. He walks into the garage everyday with a big smile on his face, greeting every one of his colleagues in a courteous manner. He is a real pleasure to work with and popular with his colleagues. His enthusiasm is a shining example to other drivers. The large number of commendations, and Clement’s excellent driver assessments, impressed the judges. FINALIST
MICHAEL FRANCIS METROLINE
Michael Francis has just celebrated 50 years of driving a London bus. He started his career at Stonebridge Park garage as a Conductor in 1967 until passing his PCV driving test in September 1970. He stayed at Stonebridge as a driver until moving to Alperton Garage
1. Sabatino Barbarino 2. Peter Whiteman 3. Helen Webster 4. Michael Francis 5. Altin Cana 6. Clement Grant 7. Oliver Salbris 8. Tina Lee 9. Eric Forde
in 1981 where he remained giving a further 36 years, now working for Metroline West. During his time Michael has maintained an excellent driving record of 45 years of accident free driving. He is a quiet man who loves driving and serving his community, and he sees his regular passengers more as friends for whom he want to provide the best possible service. Michael has received many commendations over the years for his driving and attitude. Alperton Garage has received numerous phone calls from members of the public who have phoned in to praise his enthusiasm, dedication and service. The judges were impressed with Michael’s excellent driving record as a bus driver. FINALIST
ALTIN CANA RATP DEV LONDON
Whether you’re a tourist who is lost in London, a customer who is a little frail or simply a busy commuter who needs to get to work, Altin Cana is exactly the type of person you hope to have at the wheel of your bus. Altin drives for RATP Dev London and is one of Hounslow Heath Garage’s most experienced drivers. He drives on route 116 (Hounslow to Ashford Hospital), regularly used by those who have outpatient clinic appointments and who are often elderly and/or unwell. Altin takes extra care of his customers and makes sure anyone who is unsteady on their feet is properly seated before pulling away. Having completed TfL’s Hello London course at the end of last year, Altin has grown more confident about using the PA system and many 57
Step aboard RATP Dev London driver Eric Forde’s bus and he will always gladly go the extra mile. He prides himself on his knowledge of London and makes it a point of learning bus routes and their calling points, so he can advise customers. He keeps a careful look-out for anyone who he considers to be a vulnerable customer and ensures they are properly catered for. A busy commuter often needs nothing more than a friendly greeting, but other customers - tourists, visitors to London, wheelchair users and those who are plain lost - need much more. Being able to anticipate a customer’s needs is one of the keys to providing a great journey and Eric does this with aplomb. He’s a strong advocate for using the PA system to keep customers informed about their journey. He finds customers are much more understanding if they are told about any issues. Eric’s ability to adapt to different types of customers and anticipate their needs was noted by the judges. He makes good use of the PA system and puts London in a good light with visitors. FINALIST
TINA LEE STAGECOACH LONDON
Tina Lee is what every driver should aspire to be - welcoming customers on board while going above and beyond to help make their journeys as easy and comfortable as possible. Tina drives for Stagecoach London out of Barking Garage and despite having only been a driver for a little over a year, she has used her training and infectious personality to make every customer, driver and colleague instantly warm to her. Tina stands out as an exceptional driver who loves her job and enjoys the interaction with customers and colleagues while ensuring she is professional. While Tina’s initial training prepared her for the bus industry, it is her personal attributes that have meant she has excelled and been very successful in this role. The judges considered that Tina has made a big impact with many favourable commendations from the public.
Support the best of the best? How do sponsors benefit from supporting the UK Bus Awards? Steve Cresswell, Director of Sales, describes how the scheme delivers to those who support it
We are profoundly grateful to all our sponsors, stakeholders and entrants over the last 22 years, and express our thanks to the sponsors, supporters and patrons who have worked with us for all or virtually all the years in which we’ve run the scheme. Thank you.
then celebrated by your peers and colleagues is the ultimate accolade. Inspiration comes from those around you who are successful in many different ways, this encourages and fosters better practices and improves morale. We have had around 5,000 good news stories from the bus industry so far.
WHY DO THESE AWARDS MATTER SO MUCH?
WHAT DO OUR SUPPORTERS
The bus industry is people-centric and provides a first class service to many millions of passengers every day, in every corner of the land. That is the standard offering these days in an industry where social responsibility is taken very seriously and figures highly, with many companies going above and beyond what is reasonably expected on a regular basis. That is why it is so important to celebrate these achievements. Our strapline is three simple but powerful words, in fact it is really our mission statement!
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RECOGNISE, REWARD, INSPIRE
These three words best sum up what we are doing with our partners and stakeholders to promote all the good work that is being done. It is as we all know from personal experience, nice at some point to be recognised if we do something particularly well or helpful to others. To be rewarded can mean financial reward, or as some people rightly say a simple thank you works. For those individuals or teams, who truly excel, to have your achievements recognised by your own industry experts, and
Creation of an opportunity to build your brand and achieve a solid return on your investment. Sponsorship is a vital weapon in the modern marketing toolbox, it helps to: ■ Create awareness ■ Build customer networks ■ Place your brand at the heart of an industry community ■ Providing all the classic ingredients of brand building in one great package! Becoming a UK Bus Awards sponsor will enable you to: ■ Promote directly to buyers and key decision-makers ■ Build customer relationships using corporate hospitality ■ Widen customer contacts through networking at our events. You will maintain a year-round presence through internet advertising on a busy and well-used website. And here are some stats which reinforce the value of being associated with a premier event; 58
Website unique visits run at 300 per day on average, going up to 900 per day in autumn and the average number of pages viewed per visit is 4.5. Depending on the option you choose, here is an indicative list of the type of presence you will gain as a sponsor will gain on a year round basis and at the events themselves; ■ We do adopt a policy of listening to and getting to know our sponsors and wherever possible we will tailor the offering to suit your specific needs. ■ Sponsors’ logos will be displayed during lunch at the presentation ceremony. ■ Each sponsor will receive a number of seats or a table at the presentation ceremony free of charge. ■ Sponsors will receive a display banner at the awards ceremony (precise positioning dependent on technical requirements of the venue). ■ Sponsors have the opportunity to place a banner advertisement of their own design on the UKBA web site for six months (June-December). ■ A representative of the award sponsor will be invited to attend the Finalists’ Announcement in early October. ■ A representative of the award sponsors will announce the winners of their Award at the Presentation Ceremony. ■ Award sponsors will be invited to exhibit at the presentation ceremony using a pop-up stand (not supplied).
■ Sponsors have the opportunity to advertise in this souvenir brochure at discounted rates (separate contract with the publisher). The annual event to announce the awards finalists takes place every autumn. This invitation-only event brings together up to 150 industry representatives, including trade press, UK Bus Awards sponsors and representatives from the organisations whose entries appear on the shortlist for each award. The announcement is followed by photography, lunch and usually some form of technical visit. Other sponsorship and support packages are available and offer a lower cost option for those who want to be associated with the UK Bus Awards, but have a more limited budget. For example these packages can provide an opportunity for industry suppliers to have their names associated with the overall UK Bus Awards scheme, in return for their contributions. Sponsors receive a wide range of benefits together with a superb and memorable corporate hospitality opportunity. WHAT DO OUR SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS GAIN FROM THEIR SUPPORT?
When a variety of methods of communication are researched as to effectiveness, from writing a letter to video presentation, the results are clear, the ones that are closest to human interaction, face to face are the most effective. This is why the awards represent the best possible vehicle through which to get your message seen and heard. Attending the awards will help to raise your company’s profile within the bus industry. The annual presentation ceremony provides
an excellent occasion for memorable corporate hospitality and with the additional benefit from the prestige and authority of the awards. If you could walk among hundreds of potential customers for a few hours and at some point get your message across directly to them all at once, what would you pay? Our event offers a unique opportunity to do just that. No other marketing is so targeted, effective and direct.
WHAT DO OUR SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS GIVE WITH THEIR SUPPORT?
■ The ability for us, as a not for profit company, to continue and build on the positive message that our industry is friendly, helpful, effective, efficient and looks back with pride and forward with positivity. ■ To help all companies small or large by reinforcing the benefits of best practice and raising the motivation and performance of their staff. ■ Sharing of innovative thinking and practice to benefit the whole industry. ■ Sponsors and supporters make ours, the premier event in the bus industry. This means that we attract many entries from numerous organisations and companies which gives the awards a real feeling of worth. Winning at the UK Bus Awards is extremely worthwhile and in fact has helped with recruitment and company PR generally; everyone likes an award-winning company.
WHO DOES IT ALL AND HOW?
The awards are owned and run by The Bus Industry Awards Limited (BIA). This is an independent not-for-dividend company specially set up to own and run the awards for the benefit of the industry. BIA is wholly owned by Transport Events Group. Organisation of the awards is delegated by the company to a management committee which is responsible for key decisions about the scheme, including award categories, judging and venues/formats. The committee comprises representatives of the key stakeholders in the UK bus industry, including consumer bodies, local authorities, the bus operating industry and the trade press. Transport Events Group is responsible for the organisation and administration of the awards and the event management. The same team organises the highly successful UK Coach Awards, established in 2007. More information: www.ukbusawards.org.uk Our Director of Sales, Steve Cresswell would be delighted to discuss the benefits of being involved in our awards scheme, If you would like any information or just a chat then contact him on 07976 458862 or email email@example.com 59
Distinguishing between so many top quality entries has become increasingly difficult. John Owen obe, Convenor of Judges, explains the process behind the judging of the UK Bus Awards
n impartial, well-run and scrupulously fair judging process is absolutely essential if the UK Bus Awards is to deliver on its mission to recognise, reward and inspire. To fail to have such a rigorous examination of the entries would not only devalue the awards but also not do justice to the hard work of all who make the effort to enter. Each of the entries are judged by one of six panels made up in total from over fifty people coming from a wide range of backgrounds and organisations covering the whole of the UK. The judges put considerable time and effort into reading, assessing and scoring all the entries, and reviewing the supporting information online – all that before the panel meetings in London when they confirm their scores and discuss their views before coming to a decision as to who the finalists should be. For many of the categories this is just the first part of a two-stage process. For most of the non-driver people awards, the short-listed candidates are also interviewed. Those selected make a presentation and then respond to searching questions posed by the panel. Only after that point do the judges come to a final decision as to who the Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners should be. One of the things that sets the UK Bus Awards apart is the requirement in the operational categories (including the driver awards) to assess the service quality of the finalists on the ground. Yet again this year, the
mystery travelling has influenced outcomes significantly. For the judges, even selecting finalists, let alone Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners, is increasingly tough. The quality was again such that, even after robust debate, they found it difficult to decide who should be included if the shortlists were to be kept to manageable numbers. Hence some very good entries did not make it! But this is good news. It shows how far a commercial bus industry has come in the 22 years of the Awards. Entries that would have won a few years ago often struggle to get shortlisted these days. It also confirms why the process has to be so thorough if the right people and companies are to be recognised and rewarded as the industry’s best. As well as the quality of entries, the standard also continues to improve. But there were still some who did not do themselves justice. Results and outputs are extremely important. Respond to all the questions – if you say nothing the judges can’t give you a score. Do not exceed the word limit – if you do you will be penalised, otherwise it is not fair to the vast majority who do play by the rules. So please read the criteria and guidelines carefully – they are there to help you make the best possible case for your entry. The UK Bus Awards team is determined that what we do remains dynamic, reflecting the environment in which the industry operates as well as the needs of companies, local authorities and other stakeholders. The categories and criteria are kept under constant review, as are the entry and judging 61
arrangements. We do recognise how important your time is so, subject to maintaining the integrity of the awards, we will continue to do all we can to simplify the entry process. But these are YOUR awards, so we are happy to receive feedback and suggestions. Your thoughts and ideas are always extremely welcome. As always, my thanks go to all who give their time so willingly to assist the UK Bus Awards in its quest to ‘recognise, reward and inspire’ all that is best in the UK bus industry by assessing the large number of entries, forming the judging panels, interviewing for the people awards, and mystery travelling for the operational categories to ensure that service delivery meets the claims made in the submissions. Their input to setting, maintaining and updating the process is also much valued and appreciated. The mystery travelling was more important than ever this year in deciding between some very good company entries and extremely close (identical in one case) judges’ scores. So we are especially grateful to The TAS Partnership for allowing the use of their quality audit system and software which enables us to compare fairly what are often very different operations in different parts of the UK. Last but certainly not least, our thanks go to Claire Walters, Gavin Booth and Bus Users UK for organising the service quality checks – and on everybody’s behalf to Pat and Margaret at Admin 24 for all their hard work in bringing together all aspects of the entry and judging process.
The bus – your flexible friend? Chris Cheek reflects on the evolution of the bus product over the last two decades
n the surface, the bus product seems constant and unchanging - after all, our customers are only using our services as a means to an end, getting from A to B in the fastest possible time and at lowest possible cost. There are few people in the world who travel by bus for its own sake, and when they do, it is usually for the sake of the industry’s heritage - travelling on a preserved bus is a great way to relive the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone age. It’s a pull we all experienced in October this year, when the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester was kind enough to host our Finalists’ Announcement, and a great day it was too. But modern services and vehicles are a far cry from those the industry provided in previous decades. They are smoother, quieter, more comfortable, easier to get on and off and of course much greener, with emissions so low as to be undreamt of in the past. Other things have changed, too, including the ways in which we buy and pay for our travel. Adult single fares are fast disappearing, to be replaced by a whole range of more attractive and more convenient products, stored in our smartphones or on smartcards, or increasingly paid for by contactless bank cards of one sort or another. At the same time, the rise in the use of social media has turned the whole approach to customer relations upside down - and is providing a
host of new opportunities to get closer to our users than ever before. But anybody who thinks that the pace of change is diminishing is in for a rude shock. We’re emphatically not heading for a period of stability and calm in some form of cosy, postBrexit world of warm beer and village cricket. The pace of change is, if anything, accelerating. In the next decade, we will see the effects of nano technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovations such as graphene, carbon fibre, fuel cells and the like start to feed through. The internet and smartphone revolution have yet to work through fully, and there is more innovation to come. Who knows where the next Steve Jobs is lurking, what they’ll invent and how that invention will once more change our lives? One of the most interesting trends that seems to be resulting from all this change is the movement against ownership - at least of physical things. The consumer society that developed over second half of the 20th century was driven by the desire to own things radios, televisions, record players, cassette decks, VCRs, DVD players, then cars and of course property. Then there were the smaller items such as books, records, CDs and DVDs. By the turn of the century, Anthony Eden’s 1950s vision of a “property owning democracy” seemed to be well on the way to delivery. Then came the internet revolution - records and CDs have become a niche market, as they have largely been replaced by downloads and streaming services. DVDs are 62
still around, but are being eclipsed by video streaming services such as Netflix, whilst live television is steadily being replaced by catch-up services such as the BBC’s iPlayer. In the transport world, car ownership is steadily being replaced by fixed term leasing contracts; in some urban areas, consumers are not bothering with a car at all - car clubs and private hire firms are filling the gaps. The success of bicycle hire services in town and city centres is another indicator of the same trend. So, in the face of all this, how are we supposed to view the future of the bus? Surely people will always need to travel from A to B, and surely the inbuilt efficiencies of bus travel will always win through? Well no, actually. Not unless we redefine the business we are in - and of course the clue lies in the “A to B” phrase. If we are really in the market for all those journeys from everybody’s As to everybody’s Bs - in other words for “mobility” as the jargon now has it - then the future could indeed be bright. If on the other hand we limit ourselves to the “big six-wheeler … diesel-engined, ninety-seven-horse-power omnibus” (as Flanders and Swann had it), then the future could indeed be dismal and short. Meanwhile, the industry’s supply side is likely to change almost beyond recognition as well. Autonomous vehicles, new electrically-based propulsion systems, further changes in charging and payment methods are all coming down the line. They will all revolutionise the public transport product
to a greater extent than the introduction of the internal combustion engine a century and more ago. The attractions of the autonomous vehicle are enormous, especially to an industry where labour accounts for something like 60% of total costs. Fewer staff will be needed, and they will be almost exclusively customer-facing, whether physically or via the web and the telephone. There are those who will fear all this change, and attempt to resist its introduction. But it seems to me that the bulk of the industry is well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities. Our experience at the UK Bus Awards, has given us an unrivalled view of the evolution of the industry and its flexibility in responding to change. Our monitoring, studying and judging of all the award entries has given us a unique perspective. At their best, the people, projects and organisations who’ve entered have certainly broken new ground and won extra passengers; in other cases, they may at least have mitigated the falls in patronage that would otherwise have taken place. The industry has developed three core skills since the 1990s, all of which should leave it well positioned for the future. They
are: the emphasis on the customer; employee engagement; and promotional skills. The idea that the customer is king was a long time coming, but does now seem firmly embedded, at least under the current regulatory regime. Led by pioneers and early award winners such as Brian King and Ian Morgan at Trentbarton and Roger French at Brighton and Hove, the emphasis on customer service has spread across whole swathes of the industry. As a result, pretty much everybody has raised their game. Not far enough in some areas, but sufficient to be recognised in some amazing customer satisfaction scores from Transport Focus over the eight years of the Bus Passenger Survey. Employee engagement has also improved, and rightly so: the relationship between customer and driver is the fulcrum on which the whole industry rests. You can have all the pretty liveries and social media engagement that you like, but it will all come to nought if poorly motivated and scruffy drivers don’t deliver the service and upset the customers. The importance of a workforce who care about their customers and their colleagues cannot be overstated. In 2017 we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Top National Bus
3 1. In 2017 we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Top National Bus Driver competition. Pictured is this year’s winner, Maks Pruszewicz 2. The pace of change is, if anything, accelerating. Pictured is a driverless bus on trial in London's Olympic Park. 3. Brands like Bluestar have been created and built. 4. Contactess bankcards are increasingly used to pay for bus travel, alongside smartcards and smartphones
Driver competition. We have found some superb examples of excellence in our winners and finalists over that decade. It is also true that training and employee engagement spreads more widely than to just the frontline staff in the cab. Over the years, the winners of our top operator prizes have had a genuinely different culture; it spreads through the whole workforce, led by the management team. Supervisors, engineers, drivers, office staff and managers all genuinely working together to deliver the best possible customer service, and taking a genuine pride in all that they do. We see this clearly in the entries themselves, during our mystery traveller checks and the employee interviews we undertake. It really is inspiring to see. Turning to promotion, we have seen an increasingly high standard of invention and presentation in entries to a whole range of awards. Frequently, the result is impressive; occasionally it has been breathtaking. The very best schemes offer multi-media approaches to promotion, demonstrating previous lessons learned and bright ideas conceived. The results achieved by the best schemes are clear: brands created and built; perceptions changed, and most important of all - customers won. The judges have certainly had some difficult decisions to make, and the more the years go by, the more difficult they become. There are many challenges ahead - in the evolution of our industry and in the social, economic and environmental backdrop against which we work. But those core skills of customer care, employee engagement and promotional expertise will stand us in good stead. As a result, the industry is probably better equipped to face the future than it has ever been: we have the experience, enthusiasm, tools, knowledge and techniques. However, we have one battle to win, against our greatest enemy, congestion. It drives customers away and increases costs, and it damages staff morale. Ultimately we all know that if we don’t deliver the service, we don’t stand a chance. There is a political argument to be won, and we need to be much better at presenting our case. Going back to 1995, the need to improve the presentation of the industry’s case, and to help win more arguments, led my colleagues and I to establish this Awards scheme. Twentytwo years on, the need to keep winning those arguments is still there, and at the UK Bus Awards we’re still doing our best to help by telling a good story about the industry and the unstinting efforts of all our people. In whatever way the industry evolves, we’re certainly planning to be around to recognise and reward the efforts needed to meet the challenges we face. We can only hope that the examples set by our winners will continue to inspire everybody else.
LOCH LOMOND 21 - 23 MAY 2018 The 2018 Album Conference will be held at Cameron House, Loch Lomond, hosted by
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and to receive early bird booking offers!
Published on Dec 1, 2017