This is the Award for operators running services wholly or mainly in our major cities.
2013 Winner: Stagecoach Manchester
Stagecoach Manchester has a consistent track record of delivering excellent service to its customers in what is not the easiest of operating areas. In the past year it has continued to invest in its fleet, service enhancement, and its commitment to environmental issues. Coupled with the way it has grown passenger numbers over many years, not least students and other young people, by innovative marketing whilst still maintaining an industry-leading financial performance, the judges felt that the company can be justly proud of its workforce at all levels and what they have achieved.
Runner Up: Lothian Buses
Lothian Buses, the UK’s largest publicly-owned bus company, has been justifiably one of the top operators for a number of years. Despite the problems caused by the construction of the tram system, it has continued to provide a top-class service to its customers. Clever recent initiatives have made public transport in the Scottish capital even more sustainable, the judges being especially impressed with the company’s mobile bus apps, marketing initiatives, the commitment to recycling and, not least, its very high number of social media followers. The company’s holistic approach to providing top-class bus services was exactly what they had come to expect of Lothian Buses!
Go North East
Go North East has a passion for service and innovation which it firmly believes is responsible for its success in driving growth in passenger volumes. Refreshing conventional approaches, as well as the introduction of new technology in its communications, pricing and delivery of services across the region has earned it a reputation for delivering value for customers that challenge established thinking about the way bus services should be run. The judges noted that the company’s achievements were borne out by some of the highest passenger satisfaction ratings in the recent Passenger Focus national surveys.
Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire
Since the acquisition of Glenvale Transport in 2005, the company has turned round the previously failing Gilmoss Liverpool depot with a commitment to a programme of continuous investment in its staff, fleet, premises and services. Customer service and partnership working are now priorities in order to continue the growth of the business. The judges were extremely impressed with what the company had achieved in what was still a relatively short time, taking the operation from one which left a great deal to be desired both operational and financially to one with which the Stagecoach Group could now be justifiably extremely proud.
Through a number of initiatives like ‘Welcome to Wow – Say Hello!’ and its ‘Think Quality’ roadshows, Abellio London has invested in its performance team with great results, communicated strong key messages to staff to raise standards to that of the very best, and is continuously looking for new ways to deliver outstanding customer service. The judges were impressed with how the company’s desire to be proud of what it does and deliver a service beyond the contractual level, has taken it from close to the bottom of the league table of London bus operators to close to the top.
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
- 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:
- Brighton & Hove
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The results were determined on the basis of the quality of the submissions, which need 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
- State whether the company resolved any issues by reference to the Bus Appeals Body within the last three years prior to entry. The issues and the outcome need to be described
- Provide evidence of the company’s employee relations policies, including:
- equal opportunities
- employee development programmes.
- Provide statistics on timekeeping and lost mileage
- State any Traffic Commissioners’ action in the three years prior to entry and describe the company’s responses
- 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.
- Submit evidence on matters such as any partnership working, describe how the company responds to the policies of its local 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 local authorities and integration schemes. This should be supported by statistics to confirm patronage and revenue trends, and statistical evidence of modal shift.
Shortlisted entries will be assessed by “mystery travellers” to monitor the standard of service delivery.