The Peter Huntley Memorial Award
Peter Huntley had a long career in public transport, working in transport co-ordination for local authorities, as a consultant at The TAS Partnership, as a journalist and writer, and as an inspirational managing director of a 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 we have dedicated this award in his memory as the category that best represents the breadth of his interests and his passion for excellence.
About the Award
This Award is designed to recognise and reward initiatives, projects or innovations which add value to or otherwise improve the attractiveness of bus services to both users and non-users.
The judges will be looking for a scheme, project or partnership that achieved one or more of the following:
- improved the provision of an existing bus service
- improved passenger facilities on an existing bus service
- provided a genuinely innovative new service
- improved services through new infrastructure or facilities giving faster and/or more reliable journeys.
2013 Winner: South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Partners - Sheffield Bus Partnership
The Sheffield Bus Partnership is a ground-breaking agreement bringing together Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire PTE and the city’s main bus operators to make the bus network simpler, more flexible and more convenient. Many passengers now pay lower fares for their journeys and travelling around the city is much easier as a result of co-ordinated bus services and multi-operator ticketing. The judges felt that the Sheffield Bus Partnership was a watershed for the industry and has shown just what can be achieved through open and committed partnership, evidenced by the strong growth in passenger numbers, without the need to resort to the long and expensive alternative of Quality Contracts.
Runner Up: Stagecoach in Sheffield – Supertram Link Services
Since 2007, Stagecoach has introduced three Supertram Link services to connect three areas of Sheffield to the main Supertram network. The high frequency routes provide a seamless transfer between modes at the network’s tram stops, providing realistic travel alternatives for passengers and encouraging modal shift from the car. The tram has been successful in reducing congestion in the city and the judges felt that Stagecoach deserve praise for the initiative to feed into the system, and not least to deliver tram feeder services that are actually commercially successful.
Essex County Council – Using Demand Responsive Transport to Meet the Needs of Rural Communities
Conventional bus services in the Dengie Peninsula were fast becoming financially unsustainable. As an alternative, Essex County Council introduced a Demand Responsive Transport service. The aim of this new type of fully flexible service was to better fit passenger requirements by providing the greater choice of times and destinations which had always been an aspiration of people in the extremely rural communities. Passenger numbers have exceeded expectations and customer satisfaction is extremely high, the judges being impressed that this has all been achieved with a cost saving of 25% compared with the previous method of serving the area.
First Hampshire & Dorset with Hampshire CC - Eclipse
The Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network offers users a high quality public transport experience, providing a fast, reliable link between Gosport and Fareham, avoiding the main A32 road. Customers seem to like what they see and passenger numbers have grown significantly, proving that when it comes to travel between the two towns, Eclipse really is the best choice. The judges were impressed with the modal shift that appears to have taken place from cars that have to use the very congested road alternative, and commented that the real potential of Eclipse would be realised if and when the current proposed extensions of the scheme are introduced.
Lothian Buses – Service 10 – Buses for Everyone
In September 2011, Lothian Buses launched Scotland’s first fleet of double-deck hybrid buses onto its service 10. As well as using new low-carbon technology, the vehicles include up-market features such as free wi-fi and audio visual next stop announcements. Judges were impressed by the clever marketing of the upgraded service resulting in a significant increase in passenger numbers, and that the success of the service has been helped by the company’s care in listening and responding to the customer feedback, as well as the reduction of the company’s carbon footprint in sensitive areas of the city of Edinburgh.
Nottingham City Transport – Go2 Yellow Line – Take the Weight Off Your Feet
The Go2 Yellow Line is Nottingham City Transport’s fastest growing corridor, achieving passenger growth of 43.7% over the last five years, the equivalent of an extra million customers. Two fleet upgrades, a doubling of the peak vehicle requirement, the launch of real-time and audio-visual technology, as well as several frequency enhancements, has seen passenger satisfaction increase by 18% since 2007. The judges were extremely impressed with the company’s record of success on this corridor and noted that, despite this, it was not resting on its laurels, plans being in hand to enhance the service further in 2014.
Uni-link with Bluestar – A Platform for Growth
With 22,000 students and 5,500 staff, a strong transport network is vital for the University of Southampton with its multiple campuses. Travel demand is substantial and managing this is a top priority. By providing a high quality operation, with free wi-fi and opening up the network for everyone, not just students, the Uni-link network has seen impressive growth from around one million passengers in 2008 to 4.5 million last year, figures that greatly impressed the judges, and helping to make the operation sustainable for the city.
Stagecoach East - The Busway
Stagecoach East has continued to see passenger numbers increasing beyond expectations on its services using the Cambridgeshire Busway. Operating fast and frequent services using buses with free wi-fi, leather seats, air conditioning/air chill, electric sockets, and which use bio fuel, the company has made buses a real alternative for those who would otherwise use the congested A14 road. Whilst recognising the particular problems caused by traffic in the city of Cambridge, the judges noted the substantial investment from the company to maximise the benefits of the Busway and the potential for further growth from future developments under consideration.
Who could be nominated?
Entries were welcomed from operators, authorities and others specifying and securing services, partnerships and tourist agencies.
… and by whom?
Nominations were accepted from all eligible organisations and self-nomination was acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The judges were looking for entries which added value to, or otherwise improved, bus services by making them faster, more efficient, offered improved passenger facilities or otherwise able to provide a better service. Decisions were based on the quality of the submissions made and the extent to which they addressed the criteria.
Note that where schemes have equal or equivalent merit, the final determinants were the nature and extent of improvements for customers and the degree of priority accorded to buses.
Entry submissions were therefore required to:
- Describe the services or schemes involved.
- Describe the objectives set for the initiative.
- Describe how the needs of existing and potential additional passengers, including those with mobility difficulties, were met
- Describe any environmental benefits and show how any environmental impacts were minimised
- State whether a partnership was involved. This may include service specification and financing and any interested bodies, including local authorities, local bus operators and other commercial organisations or user, leisure and tourist representative groups
- Describe how:
- needs and potential needs were assessed, including details of market evaluation and customer research
- potential customers were informed of the improved or new product(s)
- interest in, or desire for, the product(s) was assessed
- customers’ access to the product(s) was facilitated.
- Indicate the methods used to measure:State whether any subsequent changes were made as a result of the monitoring
- the progress made towards meeting the objectives
- overall patronage
- the impact of promotional campaigns before, during and after the initiative
- Supply statistical evidence showing the results of the initiative in terms of patronage, revenue or other appropriate indicators and modal shift.
- State whether the results are likely to be sustainable
- Describe any future plans for further development
- Include any relevant supporting material.