Top National Bus Depot
sponsored by Personal Group
Gold Award Winner
Since registering a commercial network in Crawley in 2001 when the existing operator declared that its current operations in the town were unviable, Metrobus' Crawley depot now operates a fleet of 135 buses throughout West Sussex, Surrey and Kent and employs some 350 staff. From a high level of staff training such as 'Going the Extra Mile', a strong social media presence focusing on Crawley depot operations, with 14,700 Facebook followers, to investing in real time information, the depot has an enviable reputation for quality, investment and customer service. The judges agreed the depot consistently sets standards for others to emulate.
Top Shire Operator
sponsored by Ticketer
Silver Award Winner
Since registering a commercial network in Crawley in 2001, Metrobus have seen unprecedented growth, including the introduction of the highly praised 'Fastway' service. The company now operates more than 150 buses throughout West Sussex, Surrey and Kent, and is proud of its reputation for quality, investment and customer service, confirmed by a 91% satisfaction rate in the latest Passenger Focus surveys. The company's continuing ability to grow bus use substantially through simple networks with increased frequencies in towns like Horsham and Crawley where previous operators had progressively reduced service levels appealed to the judges. Use of social media and new technology, its customer service training course 'Going the Extra Mile', and policies on flexible working for staff and attracting new employees from ethnic minorities also stood out.
Engineer of the Year
sponsored by IRTE
Arriva Southern Counties
Evran joined Arriva on the Engineering Graduate programme in 2007 and is now an extremely capable and valued manager within the organisation. He has outstanding leadership qualities and not only consistently achieves high engineering quality standards but assists the marketing department on a regular basis when buses are needed for photo shoots, PR events and more. Both the depot and the fleet are very well presented and, while happy to get into overalls and in the thick of it, Evran is always immaculately turned out. Despite increasingly tough budgets faced by engineering managers, each year he always rises to the challenge and is currently slightly under budget for the year.
Local Authority Bus Project of the Year
sponsored by The TAS Partnership
Bronze Award Winner
Brighton & Hove City Council
Lewes Road Sustainable Transport Corridor
The Lewes Road Sustainable Transport Corridor links Brighton city centre to the two local universities and the Amex Community Football Stadium in the north of the city. The project has converted a 4.5km dual carriageway into a single carriageway for general traffic alongside a dedicated bus lane with better facilities for cyclists, reconfigured junctions and new 'floating bus stops' to remove bus and cycle conflicts. The judges were impressed with the combination of a broad range of ideas to encourage greater use of more sustainable forms of travel - enabling not only faster, more reliable bus journeys in both directions but already increasing bus patronage by 7% in under nine months.
Top Independent Operator
sponsored by Scania
Bronze Award Winner
Compass Travel (Sussex)
Compass Travel runs a 60-strong bus fleet in East & West Sussex, Brighton and into Surrey and employs nearly 20 staff. The company has improved turnover and profitability not least by its record in identifying new markets, whether commercial routes, tendered services for a range of public bodies, franchise services for a major bus group or school contracts. Compass Travel's ability to mix work and spread cost to enable it to thrive in such a broad spectrum of operation appealed to the judges, as did its investment in new vehicles and technology, a strong customer focus and close partnership with other stakeholders in contributing to success.