Your chance to read the story behind the entry and the result achieved.

Clean Air for Schools - Transport for Greater Manchester


Better air quality is a key shared priority for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester. TfGM has developed a number of initiatives to help deliver the required improvements in local air quality, including work to encourage the use of Yellow School Buses, and alterations to reduce the vehicles' emissions as part of the Clean Air for Schools programme. Two successful bids for government funding enabled TfGM to retrofit air pollution control equipment on all of the region's fleet of 41 Yellow School Buses. The remaining Yellow School Buses are hybrid diesel-electric, already producing up to 30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. A condition of DfT's Clean Bus Technology Funding was that projects must deliver at least a 50% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. However, TfGM set a higher target of an 80% reduction in these levels and over the course of six months achieved a reduction of up to 99% overall.

The judges like idea that school children should go to school by bus, rather than by car, which reduces congestion and emissions. TFGM's scheme has produced very good outcomes, providing good value for the funding.

This entry was awarded the status of Winner, Bronze Award

The West Midlands Bus Alliance

Local Authority Bus Project of the Year

A UK First - Joint entry from Centro and National Express West Midlands

Partnership between Centro (the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority), bus operators and other stakeholders has been thriving in the region for many years, particularly with the region's largest operator, National Express West Midlands. The West Midlands Bus Alliance is the first partnership of its type in the UK and provides formal governance ensuring there is greater buy-in from bus operators, as well as the highways authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships by providing shared ownership of objectives and delivery. The intention is that by working closely together all of the benefits that might otherwise be achieved through franchising can be achieved, but without the need for contractual relationships and their associated costs.

In a very comprehensive and well supported entry, the judges were impressed that there is integration at all levels between National Express West Midlands and Centro. Being a good model that could be reproduced elsewhere, they were also pleased to see a single body acting in the interests of bus passengers making the scheme a very worthy Gold Winner.

This entry was awarded the status of Winner, Gold Award

Environmental Improvements to Vehicles - First Bus

Environment Award

First Bus identified a declining trend in fuel efficiency and it became evident that new vehicles were less efficient than the buses being replaced, increasing both operating cost and CO2 emissions. To reverse this trend, First Bus began hosting an annual testing programme at Millbrook Proving Ground which involved rigorously resting vehicles from different manufacturers head to head in order to better inform procurement decisions. As part of this work a new test cycle was also developed by First Bus and Millbrook engineers based on real world data to ensure results from such testing were both fair and meaningful. A development race emerged between bus manufacturers which has led to significant improvements in the efficiency of their vehicles including reduced vehicle weight, optimised drivetrain efficiency, systems to recapture brake energy in order to power ancillaries and introduced Stop/Start technology, all of which have resulted in fuel economy improvements up to 30%, reducing CO2 emissions by the same amount. Overall the First Bus vehicle improvement programme has resulted in savings of around £10m per annum.

Although producing substantial savings for its own business, the judges applauded First Bus for developing the partnership with Millbrook Proving Ground which will bring benefits for the whole bus industry. The entry showed clear evidence of building on previous work and the benefits it brought.

This entry was awarded the status of Winner, Silver Award

Disability Awareness - Blackpool Transport Services

Bus and the Community Award

Realising that a significant proportion of disabled people are unable to drive and do not use the bus or tram, Blackpool Transport created a scheme to champion this group through an enhanced offer based on a greater awareness by its staff of the varying needs of disabled travellers. Stakeholders from various disability groups worked in partnership to deliver experiential learning and customer engagement, extending the mandatory CPC training.

The judges noted that although much of the activity undertaken will be needed for all operators next year, being an early adopter could produce some best practice for the rest of the industry.

This entry was awarded the status of Finalist

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