South of England
Local Authority Bus Project of the Year
sponsored by The TAS Partnership
New Forest National Park Authority
Beach Bus was introduced in 2013 as part of a group of initiatives with Go South Coast to promote car-free visitor travel in the New Forest and to its coast. It has developed into a popular summer holiday service that links to rail, ferry and other bus services including the flagship New Forest open-top tours. Use of eye-catching 'retro' imagery, video, use of social media and Google adwords, discounts at attractions and even free ice creams appealed to the judges. The service has raised the profile of the bus as a fun way to travel, as well as providing renewed access to one or two isolated communities and positive feedback and passenger numbers, increased by 400% in its second year, go to show the scheme's success.
Portsmouth City Council
Portsmouth Park & Ride
Portsmouth's new Park-and-Ride at Tipner opened in April 2014 adjacent to a new junction on the M275 and forms part of the wider transport strategy to support the city's £1.8 billion plan for regeneration and growth. Use of the scheme grew very quickly in its first few weeks and extremely high satisfaction scores have translated into repeat customers, so beginning to achieve the objective of a more sustainable mix of travel modes into the city. The judges were particularly impressed by the combination of many high-quality features that have been applied successfully with Park-and-Ride and other bus schemes elsewhere, supported by enhanced bus priority ensuring quick journeys for those who use the facility.
Top National Bus Depot
sponsored by Personal Group
Home to more than 400 staff and nearly 130 buses operating across the Isle of Wight, Newport depot has undergone an ongoing programme of listening and acting on feedback from its customers and staff over the past twelve months. The result is an increase in overall customer satisfaction of 5%, staff engagement by 12% and journey numbers by 4.9% year on year. Operating 99.82% of scheduled mileage over the past year has been achieved by proactive management of the network by the control team, who make extensive use of social media to keep customers informed of potential disruption via friendly and familiar messages. The judges were impressed that Newport is delivering consistently good standards across its operations.
Top Shire Operator
sponsored by Ticketer
Bronze Award Winner
morebus, part of Go South Coast, has carried out major rebranding over the last two years to produce a high-quality network throughout Bournemouth and Poole. The modernisation of the previous brand and the change of emphasis in its approach to staff, customers and the service it provides have led to substantial growth in patronage of between 8% and 15%, and changed public perception towards the bus as a mode of travel. The judges were particularly impressed by the company's emphasis on the bus stop as its 'shop window', high visibility jackets for staff branded 'ask me more', its close relationships with stakeholders over services provided and minimising the implications of funding cuts, and its developing staff training and recognition programme.