ThisAward, first introduced last year, is designed to recognise and reward high standards of operation and customer care by bus depots and garages throughout the UK.
The Award is 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.
Winner: Nottingham City Transport - Gotham
The judges were really impressed with NCT’s Gotham depot. It is the company’s smallest depot but boasts big achievements! Investment in the staff, the garage, the fleet and services, backed up by a family ethos ensures that 99.8% of mileage is operated with a punctuality rate of over 96.1%.
Customer satisfaction scores of 87% are achieved on the back of a growth in passengers of 11% and revenue of 33% over the last three years – another example of a truly impressive performance from a small depot.
Runner Up: Stagecoach South West – Torbay
Stagecoach South-West’s Torbay depot has a team of staff who pull together to deliver exceptional service day in and day out, with mileage operated in excess of 99.7% and a punctuality rate of 97.1%.
Not only do the staff excel when it comes to their work lives, including their commitment to recycling and ‘green issues’ but the judges were impressed with their interest in and support of out-of-work activities, with them genuinely enjoying spending time together outside the workplace whether raising money for charity or enjoying a barbecue at their fun day.
Stagecoach West Scotland – Kilmarnock
Kilmarnock claims to have the most modern bus fleet in Scotland! All vehicles operating on local services are low-floor, easy access and the depot achieves a very high level of reliability and punctuality – as well as a 100% pass rate for PSV annual tests for the last two years.
It has also seen some significant local initiatives in the provision of bus services including Biobus, a dedicated green travel initiative in which nine buses have been converted to run on fuel made from used cooking oil. The relaunch of Kilmarnock local services has led to a 9% growth in bus passengers this year. Another very impressive depot performance!
Transdev Blazefield – Burnley
Operating a fleet of 85 buses on local services and the trunk route to Manchester, Burnley has excellent operational standards with very little lost mileage and a high level of punctuality, as well as an excellent PSV Annual Test record. The workforce of over 200 obviously enjoys working together and playing together.
The judges were impressed by the strong partnership ethos with local authorities and other stakeholders, and that community engagement has been strengthened by the introduction of the new Passenger Pride Award, the company’s way of recognising the generous and selfless people within the local community.
Judges' Overall Verdict
Though disappointingly limited in number, this year's entry list was full of quality, with some superb nominations.
The highest placed depots also scored highly for team spirit, a very good indication that the maintenance of team spirit and motivation of staff are key features in achieving a successful depot operation.
The successful depots generally also demonstrated a strong and proactive role in their local communities.
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 was 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. Entries were required to 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 needed 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).
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.
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.