This category focuses on an individual or team of staff who have consistently gone that extra mile to help provide top-quality service to London's bus passengers.
This could be engineering staff at a garage, a group of drivers on a route, service controllers, training staff, staff involved with safety and security or revenue protection, or any other staff who have gone above and beyond the actions normally expected.
Bus companies operating in London, London TravelWatch and others representing bus users in London, as well as TfL staff, are invited to put forward nominations for the London service quality award. The winning team will have delivered excellent customer service in the 12 months to the end of June 2010.
Winners: Mick Gilroy and Alan Ball, Arriva London
Mick Gilroy and Alan Ball between them manage Arriva London's team of route controllers – 176 staff in all. They both strive to ensure that their teams achieve the best possible results, which in turn ensures that Arriva will deliver an efficient and reliable service on over one million passenger journeys taken each week day. They have an ongoing assessment and development programme to ensure each controller knows exactly what is expected of them and that they perform to full potential, encouraging personal development for all the team.
Mick and Alan also run workshops for drivers to give them a better understanding of the controller's role and improve working relationships. They also attend garage open forums and have produced a training DVD; they played a lead role in iBus implementation and hold regular meetings with TfL, local authorities and stakeholders. They also go out on the road - especially at times of crisis.
The judges particularly praised their across-the-board drive, and their commitment to sharing best practice and improving communications between drivers and controllers.
Runners Up: Croydon Service Quality Team, Metrobus
The Croydon Service Quality team comprises twelve controllers, who were nominated for their high standards of service delivery, which are achieved across all routes - the garage runs eleven, including a mixture of high and low frequency services. The results that have been achieved are consistently well above the standards set by London Buses.
The judges were impressed by their commitment and dedication to their job and in the way they work together as a team to ensure the highest standards of performance are maintained. The team have done particularly well at improving results on routes 75 and 202 which started operation from the garage in the past year. Route 202 had particular problems caused by major road works, but the team worked hard to train all drivers, supporting them and giving them targets to help deliver an acceptable service for commuters despite inevitable delays. The extra hours worked clearly paid off.
First London Commercial Contracting Team (FLCC)
An often unsung part of the capital's transport network, the FLCC Team has grown over the last 12 months to become a major supplier of rail replacement services across London, bringing a new standard in safety, customer service and professionalism. There are only four members of the team: their unofficial motto "We get you there, when others can't". Over the past year the volume of work handled by FLCC has grown by 300%.
Wood Green Control Team, Arriva London
The 24-strong team of service controllers at Wood Green controllers is hard working, motivated and have a very good understanding of what is required to operate a successful bus service, constantly achieving a high level of results, maintaining strong customer focus and excellent relationships with operating and engineering colleagues. On high frequency services, on only two occasions in the last year did a route not perform to London Buses standards. Despite increased traffic disruption from road works and the Enfield Lock Station level crossing works, all 12 services achieved excellent results.
Bexleyheath Road Manager and Team, Go-Ahead London Central
The Bexleyheath Road Manager Sandra McKinley and her team of nine controllers have maintained a high level of service during the past year, often operating in very difficult and challenging circumstances.
Bexleyheath has increased passenger numbers due to the continued high performance provided by the Road Operating Team. The garage is currently first for high frequency services and second for low frequency services. The judges noted that the team performed exceptionally well in the heavy snow of last winter.
Judges’ Overall Verdict
All this year’s entries were particularly impressive in their own way, demonstrating a range of different aspects of the job that are vital in delivering good service, whilst the people doing them do not always get the recognition they deserve. The judges again had a challenging time in choosing between the entries, since each in its own way demonstrated a welcome commitment to quality of service. As such all this year’s finalists deserve congratulation.