Top City Operator 2012

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This is the Award for operators running services wholly or mainly in our major cities.

The Winner

The team running Nottingham's city busesNottingham City Transport

A top quality bus operator in the UK’s least car-dependent city and with the Passenger Focus Bus Passenger Survey showing customer satisfaction of over 91%, amongst the highest in the UK, Nottingham City Transport has put into service sixty-eight brand new buses in twelve months, introduced frequency enhancements on twenty routes and invested in staff and technology, generating patronage growth of 2.1% in the difficult economic climate of the last year.

As one of the best examples of successful local authority partnership and with much else to be admired in the way this company has developed in recent years, the judges drew particular attention to its commitment to customer research, providing easily-accessible real time information, and staff training and welfare.

Joint Runner Up

 Looking after the customers at Go North EastGo North East

 

Go North East provides a high quality service with a strong focus on delivering an excellent experience each and every time somebody travels with the company. A culture that is built around delivering consistent high quality customer service was confirmed by a Passenger Focus Bus Passenger Survey satisfaction rate of 92%, the UK’s second-highest in their latest research.

The judges identified the way that rigorous staff training, close partnership with both the public and private sector, and a passion for innovation and positive change, clearly lay at the heart of the company’s approach to what has become an impressive operation, a fitting testimonial to its late Managing Director.

 

Joint Runner Up

Green Week winners in ManchesterStagecoach Manchester

Stagecoach Manchester has a consistent track record of delivering an exceptional service to customers with year-on-year passenger growth for each of the last seven years, including 0.6% (5% in its student market) last year despite the current economic climate and increasing levels of unemployment in Manchester. The company has maintained its ambitious programme of investment to improve customer experience and value, and achieved a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.

The judges were impressed especially by the way the company puts a strong emphasis on getting the basics right, thus ensuring a reliable and attractive service in what is far from the easiest of big city operating areas.

 

Launching hybrid buses in SheffieldHighly Commended

Stagecoach Sheffield

Since the Stagecoach acquisition of Yorkshire Terrier in 2006, Sheffield has seen the transformation of a poorly performing operation into a thriving one, culminating in being awarded runner-up for Top City Operator in 2011. Consistent passenger growth and increased customer satisfaction has been achieved through major investment, improved reliability and punctuality, enhanced service network, value for money ticketing and other customer initiatives. The way that the company has identified areas and corridors for potential growth, and then gone about developing these markets with high quality, reliable services, including integration with the tram, attracted high praise from the judges.

Front line staff at Keighley & DistrictTransdev Keighley & District

Despite its operating area being very badly hit by the current economic recession, Transdev Keighley & District’s achievement of the country’s highest customer satisfaction rating (93%) in the latest Passenger Focus Bus Passenger Survey clearly illustrates the company’s consistent commitment to always provide the best level of service, and demonstrates confidence in its service network, its staff, and in the resilience of the region in which it operates.  The judges were impressed especially by the way the company has maintained its core values despite the current pressures, putting itself in the best possible position for a future recovery in the national and local economy.

Who could be nominated?

This Award is open to operators of registered local bus services based in, or operating wholly or mainly in:

  • The PTE areas:
    • Greater Manchester
    • Merseyside
    • Tyne and Wear
    • South Yorkshire
    • West Yorkshire
    • West Midlands
  • Greater London
  • Other major cities with populations of over 250,000, with density greater than 15,000 per hectare. These are:
    • Belfast
    • Brighton & Hove
    • Bristol
    • Cardiff
    • Edinburgh
    • Glasgow
    • Kingston-upon-Hull
    • Leicester
    • Nottingham
    • Plymouth
    • Stoke-on-Trent

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The short-list was determined on the basis of the quality of the submissions, which needed to:

  • Show how the operator maintains and improves customer relations. For example how it uses:
    • customer satisfaction surveys
    • suggestion and complaint handling procedures
    • customer newsletters
  • State whether it has policies for specific customer groups, for example recognising disability and diversity
  • Submit evidence on matters such as any partnership working, describe how the company responds to the policies of its transport authority and how it fosters and contributes to the life of the communities it serves.
  • Show how the operator contributes to sustaining and expanding the market for public transport in their area, including joint working with authorities and integration schemes. This should be supported by statistics to confirm patronage and revenue trends and statistical evidence of modal shift.
  • Provide statistics on timekeeping and lost mileage
  • Provide evidence of the company’s employee relations policies, including:
    • diversity
    • equal opportunities
    • training
    • employee development programmes.
  • State whether or not the company resolved any issues by reference to the Bus Appeals Body within the last three years prior to entry. If so, the issues and the outcome need to be described
  • State whether or not there has been any Traffic Commissioner action in the three years prior to entry or whether any investigation, disciplinary hearing or known VOSA report is ongoing at the time of entry.  If so, provide a full account of the matter(s).
  • Provide information to demonstrate the financial sustainability of their activities. This could come, for example, from the most recent audited accounts for the two years prior to nomination and include:
    • Capital investment: amount per £1,000 turnover; changes in fleet age profile
    • Commercial performance: % operating profit margin
    • Movement in reserves.
  • Demonstrate the company’s approach to risk assessment in all its activities including:
    • a commentary on Health and Safety issues for the past year, supported by reports on any significant incidents,
    • showing how the company assesses the impact of its activities on staff, passengers and the general public and has monitoring and control measures to reduce risk and the level of the residual risks.
  • Describe the operator’s approach to environmental matters and social responsibility.
  • Describe the operator’s approach to improving or promoting the accessibility of their product for people with mobility difficulties

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