Top Independent Operator

The Award for smaller bus companies with fleets of less than 100 vehicles not owned by a public limited company (plc).

Who can be nominated?

This Award is open to operators of registered local bus services which are independently owned and with operators’ (‘O’) licences for up to 100 vehicles. Judges will be flexible in accepting entries for otherwise eligible companies with larger numbers of discs within a margin of 10-15%. 

In this context, ‘independently owned’ means not in the sole or majority ownership of a public limited company (plc), a local authority or a holding company which owns three or more bus operating subsidiaries.

Subsidiaries of the groups should enter Top Shire or Top City categories, as appropriate to their operating territory.

… and by whom?

We welcome nominations from customers, local authorities, user groups or bus operators. Self-nomination is acceptable.

Criteria and Entry Requirements for all Bus Operating Awards:

The short-list will be determined on the basis of the quality of the submissions, which need to:

  • Provide the full range of information requested in the Key Performance Indicators section of the entry form
  • Address as fully as possible the individual criteria headings on the form. 

It is important that all KPIs and each of the following criteria are addressed as fully as possible because the allocated marks are not transferable.

The following notes provide further guidance on the information to be provided under each of the headings:

  • Customer Relations and Performance: show how the operator maintains and improves customer relations and monitors its operations to optimise performance. For example how it uses: 
    • technology, including social media, real-time information and mobile phone apps
    • other methods of communicating with customers and potential customers including printed information
    • customer satisfaction surveys,  suggestion and complaint handling procedures and the monitoring of feedback.
  • Management of Stakeholder Relations and Partnerships: describe the company’s approach to the management of its relationships with local authorities, LEPs and other community and local business organisations. Describe the work done on partnerships with authorities and other bodies and state how it fosters and contributes to the life of the communities it serves.
    • Where operated, with the approach to and results of delivering local authority contracted local bus services should be described. 
  • Market Growth and Development: show how the operator contributes to sustaining and expanding the market for public transport in their area by
    • offering different payment methods and range of tickets including discounts for specific groups, for example young people
    • providing a range of commercial services at different times of the day and days of the week
    • introducing innovations over the preceding twelve months
    • The descriptions and examples should be supported where possible by statistics to confirm patronage  and revenue trends and by evidence of modal shift. 
  • Employee Relations and Training: provide evidence of the company’s employee relations policies and any discernable outcomes, including;
    • diversity
    • equal opportunities
    • training, including CPC progress
    • employee development programmes, such as advanced driver training and testing
    • other initiatives and/or practices that engender staff loyalty.
  • Health, Safety and Risk Management: 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.
  • Environmental and CSR Matters: describe the operator’s approach to environmental matters and social responsibility and consequential outcomes.
  • Policies on diversity and accessibility: state whether there are policies for different customer groups, for example recognising disability and diversity, and/or deprived localities and specifically describe the operator’s approach to improving or promoting the accessibility of their product for people with various types of mobility difficulty.
  • Serious Complaints and Enforcement Action: state whether or not the company was referred to the Bus Appeals Body within the last three years prior to submission of this entry. If so, the issues and the outcome need to be described. Entrants should also 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). 

Shortlisted entries will be assessed by ‘mystery travellers’ to monitor the standard of service delivery.

 

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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