Top National Bus Depot 2010

This NEW award is designed to recognise and reward high standards of operation and customer care by bus depots and garages throughout the UK.

The award was open to bus depots or garages that operate buses on local bus services outside London. For the purposes of this award, a bus garage is defined as an authorised operating base at which vehicles are both stabled overnight and maintained.

The Winner:Birkenhead, Arriva Merseyside

A member of the team at Birkenhead

Arriva Birkenhead is one of six garages, which make up Arriva Merseyside with a unique remit operating Cross River through the Mersey tunnel linking the Wirral to Liverpool.

Investment in fleet and in staff communication has resulted in impressive Customer and Employee survey results.

Focusing attention on service delivery and instilling a sense of pride in the workforce have played a significant part in achieving first rate operating and staff performance statistics. All supported by numerous sporting and social activities it is clear to see why Birkenhead depot has recently been awarded Investors in People status and shortlisted for Wirral Business of the year 2010.

The judges were impressed by the commitment to detail and the fostering of good staff relationships.

Runners Up: Heckmondwike, Arriva YorkshireManagement and fleet at Heckmondwike in Yorkshire's Woollen District

Growing the success experienced at Arriva’s Heckmondwike depot demonstrates that a consistent and dedicated approach to service provision generates a first class operation. An initiative called ‘Polish and Promote’ has taken on board areas that really matter to the customer and involve exceptional attention to detail. It is therefore easy to see why increasing customer numbers together with very good operating performance statistics were two of the principal reasons why Arriva Heckmonwike caught the judge’s eye.

Arriva Heckmondwike believe that dedication to presentation coupled with consistent reliability has led to the doubling of the operating margin in the last year resulting in a blue print of the depots processes and initiatives being shared across the rest of Arriva Yorkshire and Arriva nationally.

The depot gained Investors In People status in 2008 and is now striving for IIP Gold the top accolade from Investors in People, which led one judge to remark, “this seems like a really nice place to work”.

Highly Commended

Crawley Bus Station - hub of Metrobus operations in the New TownCrawley, Metrobus

Metrobus registered a commercial network in Crawley in 2001 when the existing operator declared that operations in the town were unviable. The last ten years, however, have seen unprecedented growth, including the introduction of the highly praised ‘Fastway’ service. The depot now operates services throughout West Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

Setting and achieving high standards from all grades of staff has been instrumental in the success of the depot.
Strong working relationships with councils from county down to parish level, Bus Users UK and number of local interest groups and forums have helped establish key community links.

Investment in a modern fleet supports the ever growing reputation for quality and customer service.

Members of the team who keep the wheels turning at Hyde Road, ManchesterHyde Road Manchester, Stagecoach Manchester

Hyde Road depot is a splendid example of how a large depot can be operated with the same attention to detail and focus on standards as a small depot.

Situated five minutes from the centre of Manchester, operating 24 routes providing almost 24 hour coverage and a morning run out of almost 200, Hyde Road depot is not a place for the faint hearted.

It is a credit to all the management staff that they have continued to achieve improvement in Key Performance Indicators over the last five years.

Staff commendations, an active social scene and cross function meetings between engineers and operation help generate an understanding that working together gets the best results and maintains a good team spirit.

Trent Bridge, Nottingham City TransportA member of the modern fleet at Trent Bridge depot in Nottingham

Nottingham City Transport readily acknowledges that extensive training and development at all levels has been fundamental to the success of Trent Bridge Depot.

Frequent communication and consultation has also been an important feature of improving performance, allowing staff to gain further knowledge of the industry and the business but also ensuring issues can be raised, discussed and acted upon.

Supported by an active Social Society and involvement in a number of neighbour hood schemes help foster a splendid team spirit which undoubtedly explains a first class set of Key Performance indicators.


Yardley Wood dates back to Birmingham City Transport days, but now houses a modern fleetYardley Wood Birmingham, National Express West Midlands

Yardley Wood is one of the largest depots in the National Express West Midland bus operation with 15 routes across Birmingham. The 24 hours a day operation plays a vital role in helping to keep the people of Britain’s second city moving.

Following on from a large reorganisation of routes in the area the depot has experienced a significant improvement in the customer feedback ratings for reliability, frequency, security and cleanliness.

The appointment of specific Route Managers on two of the largest routes with the freedom to engage with the local community and the driving staff has further helped boost improvements.

Judges' Overall Verdict

This is the first year for this award, and the judges were most encouraged by the high level of entries all of which were of exceptionally high standard. There was very little to choose between them all.

What was most notable was the amount of time that is dedicated to local community issues. It is clear that all the finalists realise how important community relations can be to their business.

Who could be nominated?

In order to qualify to enter this award, a bus depot or garage must have an allocation of not less than 10 vehicles and operate not less than 500,000 kilometres per year on registered local bus services.

… and by whom?

We welcomed nominations from all three categories from customers, authorities, user groups or bus operators. Self-nomination is acceptable.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The award will be made to the garage which, in the opinion of the judges, delivers the highest operational standards to its customers. ntries must contain a full set of data against the following Key Performance Indicators:

  • Scheduled Annual Mileage

  • Lost Mileage, absolute and as a percentage of scheduled

  • Punctuality statistics (Number of departures operated, proportion measured and the percentage measured as “on time”, i.e. not more than one minute early and five minutes late)

  • Staff turnover (all grades, including engineering staff)

  • Annual PSV Test pass rate

  • Details of any warning or prohibition notices issued by VOSA in the previous twelve months

  • Customer Satisfaction and Mystery Traveller Survey results (if undertaken)

  • Driver Quality Monitoring Data (where undertaken)

  • Statistics regarding the volume and nature of public complaints

In addition, each entry needs to contain a submission concerning the depot/garage’s own work to:

  • maintain and improve operational standards

  • make contributions to local and global environmental objectives

  • develop and maintain a team spirit within the garage (e.g. sports and social clubs, etc)

  • play a positive role within the communities served (charity work, community involvement, sponsorship programmes, etc).

Entries should address each of the above criteria to assist with the judging process.

Short-listed garages will be subject to Mystery Travelling and other spot checks during the judging process. Judges reserve the right to request additional data, for audit purposes. Any such data will be subject to the strictest confidentiality arrangements.

Note that it is a condition of entry that any prize awarded should be collected by at least one member of front-line staff at the UKBA Presentation Ceremony. The winning garage will receive a cash prize which must be used to improve staff facilities at the garage.

The TEG logoThe UK Bus Awards scheme is organised by The Bus Industry Awards Limited, a company registered in England & Wales No 3332837.

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