Making Buses a Better Choice

The Peter Huntley Memorial Award

Peter #Huntley, who helped to found the UK Bus AwardsPeter 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.

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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.

The 2014 Results

Zooming along in the East Midlands - trentbarton's latest wheezeGold Award Winner

zoom - making buses better the quick way, Trent Barton

trentbarton's Long Eaton to Derby market was already served by frequent buses on its 'indigo' service, with air-conditioning, leather seats and friendly drivers. When research indicated customers wanted a faster alternative, the company introduced 'zoom' which has been an instant success. 30% of people have said they travel more often, 98% have commented "it has made buses better" and the company has achieved a market share of 60% despite supplying only 33% of the frequency. The judges were extremely impressed that trentbarton did not simply sit back and reap the rewards of its existing 'indigo' service but bravely took the risk of effectively competing against itself by overlaying a new service with the potential to abstract passengers and revenue.

Pretty in pink - shuttling to and from CavershamSilver Award Winner

pink shuttle - better for everyone, Reading Buses

Listening to customers and cutting fares really does work, Reading Buses has shown in transforming the once dwindling, hourly 27 bus to Lower Caversham into a pink shuttle service. Reading Buses not only persevered with this loss-making service but, following extensive consultation with customers, bravely invested in new buses with the latest technology, reduced the key single fare to £1, and made the service more frequent, efficient and reliable. The result was 13% more passengers in the first year and a service that is now commercial. This shone out to the judges as an excellent example of how a strong local authority partnership, high trip rates and getting the core network right can turn marginal services into a success story.

In partnership on the busway in LutonBronze Award Winner

Luton Dunstable Busway, Luton Borough Council

Bus services along the Luton/Dunstable corridor were suffering from severe congestion across east-west routes and viewed as infrequent and unreliable. To tackle the problem, Luton Borough Council has transformed the disused Luton-Dunstable railway into a fast-track Busway - more than halving cross-conurbation journey times and leading to high passenger satisfaction on frequency and journey times and 9% modal shift in Dunstable. The judges were impressed that the scheme was already bringing about a significant increase in bus use and changing the perception of public transport and felt it had the potential to encourage much greater modal shift in this congested area.

Finalists

Working to improve buses in WatfordArriva Watford - Perfect 10, Arriva Shires & Essex

Working with Hertfordshire County Council, Arriva the Shires & Essex has revamped its route 10, a core service in Watford. Effective partnership has led to a package of measures including improved value for money ticketing, higher service frequency and more efficient operation, supported by clever and effective marketing. The result is impressive patronage growth: 23% in the first year against a target of 10% and the figure is still growing. The strong marketing impact of using the number 10 - 10 new buses for service 10, a 10-minute frequency, £10 for a week's unlimited travel or £10 for 10 single trips and publicity on and off-bus highlighting 10 good reasons for using the bus - particularly appealed to the judges.

 

First making things simple in GlasgowFirst Glasgow's simpliCITY Network, First Glasgow

First Glasgow has developed a brand new network, simpliCITY, to transform Glasgow's services and attract more customers. Changes to make the network easier to understand were coupled with the company's biggest ever marketing campaign: corridor guides to over a million households, £3.8m in money-off vouchers, a TV campaign, and new customer newsletter, SHOUT! The judges were impressed with the extent of research and consultation undertaken and the scale of the project in terms of financial investment, service provision and performance, fares initiatives, and marketing and publicity. The company's positive response to customer feedback has achieved significant growth in passenger numbers of 4.2% and improved passenger satisfaction, with 91% scored overall.

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.