Sponsored by TfL London Buses
For the London Bus Garage of the Year Award, monitoring data on those garages operating over a million miles a year is evaluated and the top garages are shortlisted by virtue of their performance. Those garages then submit their own assessment of their operating achievements and the judges must assess which has provided the highest quality bus services to London’s diverse communities. Integral to this award is a cash prize to benefit staff facilities at the winning garage site.
"The London Buses awards are designed to reward the operating and engineering staff who, by taking exceptional pride in their work, ‘go the extra mile’ in keeping London’s buses running. The awards give true recognition to their achievement by the announcement of the winners in the presence of so many key players in the bus industry.”
David Brown, Managing Director for Surface Transport, Transport for London.
Winner: Beddington Farm, Arriva London South
Beddington Farm garage has had a complex history, starting life as a new build depot for London & Country in 1990. The judges were impressed by how the garage has embraced major changes. Managing operations has been of a consistent high quality, and this has helped significant expansion in recent years when new contracts have been acquired.
Beddington Farm was the first Arriva garage to hold regular open forums and this, combined with an opendoor policy and good trade union relations, has given it a very low staff turnover rate and a waiting list of people wanting to work there.
Runners Up: Putney, Go-Ahead London (London General)
The judges were impressed by overall operational performance as well as the initiatives taking place on a local level including its open-door sessions for platform staff to meet officials, controllers and engineers.
Community bridge-building with schools and other stakeholders has been a very positive force, as was the integration process for its Polish drivers. The driver mentoring arrangements, and the garage’s pro-active approach to service delivery, staff issues and safety is commended.
Putney achieves the runner-up status after being highly commended in 2007 and winning the contest in 2006. With a variety of services in inner-city and suburban areas, Putney has consistently punched above its weight through its proactive approach to delivery, staff issues, and safety.
Waterloo, Go-Ahead London
Although a smaller depot, it is the only one located in the central zone, and runs the two high-frequency "Red Arrow" services using articulated buses also operating entirely within that zone.
The judges were particularly impressed by the absolutely minimal level of lost mileage for staff and engineering reasons, a record that is the best in London. In addition, great attention is paid to customer care, and drivers are selected carefully to ensure that the high standards are constantly maintained.
An emphasis is placed on positive communication with staff so that they know that their efforts are proving effective. The Base Managers have built up a strong relationship with the local community including allowing local businesses, when necessary, to use dept facilities.
Upton Park, East London Bus Group
Upton Park garage has a workforce that is very diverse reflecting the area in which it operates, including approximately 48% Muslim. Considerable effort has been put in to ensure that the facilities meet religious requirements and cater for that diversity of staff. Flexible working is used to encourage female staff, and a special committee has been set up to discuss with women employees any areas that are difficult in what has historically been a male-dominated workforce, not least the issue of safety.
Upton Park has consistently been one of the top performers in the TfL Vehicle Quality audits, and was recently chosen as the setting for filming of a DVD highlighting the problems surrounding diabetes.
Leyton, East London Bus Group
Another garage employing staff from many parts of the world, Leyton has also been a frontrunner in the ‘Women in the Bus Industry’ scheme. The garage has also been involved with Waltham Forest schools for many years, giving pupils an insight into the bus industry and resulting in less anti-social behaviour.
Leyton carries out its own driver monitoring in addition to that conducted by TfL and has succeeded in improving the driver/customer interface by its “Exploring Behaviour at Work” course run by its in-house training school.
The garage has a 100% pass rate for annual vehicle tests and an exceptional score of 0.6 points per bus for the vehicle checks undertaken by the Freight Transport Association's vehicle inspection service.
Transdev London United - Stamford Brook
Stamford Brook achieved outstanding route performance figures this year despite facing considerable challenges through such as major Thames Water works in its main operating area and teething problems associated with being (with its sister garage Shepherd’s Bush) the first garage to go live with iBus. The approach of its controllers towards every iBus issue, enabling early resolution, has benefited customers, other operators and TfL.
Stamford Brook is very proactive in using public relations and advertising to attract women drivers through its WIBI initiative, and has worked hard to champion recycling and decrease the garage carbon footprint.