This is the award which benchmarks the performance of bus garages in London, and rewards the best with a cash prize to be used on facilities to benefit the team which delivers the best service on a day-to-day basis.
Winner: Lea Interchange
First London East
Lea Interchange is the flagship depot for First London and is on the doorstep of the Olympic Park; it is a symbol of how the regeneration of East London will benefit from the 2012 Games. It is an environmentally aware site with state of the art Hydrogen Fuel Cell facilities, a huge depot family with a "will do" approach and an understanding of how important it is to come to work AND enjoy coming to work. The entire depot was immensely proud of being in the finals of the 2010 Top London Bus Garage competition, having officially just moved into their new home.
The judges were impressed by this garage’s list of achievements: a partnership with FirstCare has reduced service disruption from absence due to sickness, the DriveGreen monitoring system has helped reduce collisions and passenger injuries, the resulting reduced incidents making the garage the best London operator in this respect. Employee engagement is noteworthy, with regular Question Time forums, extensive use of email and social networks and large-screen displays at the garage. Flexible working arrangements are used as much as possible to help employees’ work/life balance. 12 staff were nominated for actions 'Above & Beyond The Call Of Duty' in helping passengers during the London riots. The garage is fully engaged with the community, with numerous charity events, and many of the garage Superstars nominees have been commended by passengers for outstanding customer service.
The judges felt that Lea Interchange’s exceptional achievements make the garage an extremely worthy winner.
Runner Up: Epsom
Quality Line, Epsom Coaches Group
Epsom garage is the home of Quality Line, the bus division of Epsom Coaches. This state of the art facility provides "hotel" standards of accommodation and hosts a unique atmosphere of trust and friendship, more a community centre than just a place to work, but a community that also happens to be very good at running bus services in London.
Quality Line is currently London’s only private independent contractor, operating 0.75% of the network, whose only hope of standing out is to exceed targets, ensure its fleet is well presented, and having a team that is smartly dressed and who take full ownership and responsibility for the routes they operate. Epsom’s workshop is known as “The Cathedral of Engineering Excellence” with a 100% YTD MOT pass rate and low levels of mechanical lost mileage across its entirely low frequency route network.
Drivers can choose the route they would like to drive and where possible they can choose the working pattern ie: lates, earlies etc. Other drivers choose to have variety and this too is accommodated. By this method, drivers develop a rapport with their passengers, often receiving gifts from their regulars. The result is a “country bus” scenario in the capital city.
Clapton, Arriva London North
Clapton bus garage is based in Hackney in the East End of London. It operates a total of 124 vehicles on three high frequency routes, two of which run to Central London, Victoria Station (route 38) and Tottenham Court Rd (Route 242 - a 24 hour service).
Cricklewood Garage runs over 200 buses on a network of routes. The garage has a proud history and has served London for over 100 years. In 2009, Metroline signalled its continued commitment to delivering a first class bus service for the Capital and to the local community by investing over £8 million and opening a brand new, state of the art facility with industry-leading environmental credentials.
Hounslow Heath, London United
Hounslow Heath garage runs 78 vehicles on bus services in the West of London including Heathrow Airport. Throughout its history the garage has been renowned for its family type of working environment, whereby everyone knows everyone and actively work together to achieve the desired objectives.
Putney, London General
In terms of performance Putney Garage "punches well above its weight", but to view the matter purely in terms of operating statistics is to miss the real magic of the place and its people. The whole atmosphere of the place shouts a "can do attitude" people are enthusiastic, committed and proud of the professional job they do, running a fleet of 126 buses on local and trunk routes.
How the Nominations Work
This award is open to garages that operate buses on contract to London Bus Services Ltd. Performance and monitoring data is used by TfL London Buses to compile a shortlist of garages reaching high levels of recorded performance, which includes:
- Driver Quality Monitoring data
- Wheelchair ramp operational audit data
- Customer Satisfaction Survey and Mystery Traveller Survey results
- Lost Mileage
- Quality of Service Indicators
- Engineering standards
- Levels of public comments.
Each short listed garage is then challenged to submit its own assessment of its achievements, emphasising its impact on passenger service, staff well-being and the communities served by reference to specified issues.