Nominations for the UK Bus Awards 2008 were opened by Transport Minister Rosie Winterton today at a London ceremony, where she also announced the Department's continued sponsorship of an award for Winning New Customers.
The 2008 competition will build on 2007's record–breaking year, which saw record entries, over 800 attendees at the Presentation Ceremony, and great media interest, including a live appearance on BBC's The One Show.
Rosie Winterton said: "I am delighted to be involved with these awards for the second year running and to see so many people who are dedicated to building an outstanding bus industry.
When I attended last year's Presentation Ceremony I was struck by the high standard of the winners and the range of projects brought forward by bus companies and local government. I am pleased to announce that my department will continue to sponsor the Winning New Customers Award, and look forward to seeing what 2008 has to offer."
Nominations are sought from individuals and organisations involved in projects that develop, market, operate and innovate buses and bus services across a wide range of categories. Major innovations for this year include an award for the best customer service by a UK bus employee, which will be presented once again in memory of the late Chris Moyes, formerly Chief Executive of one of Britain's largest bus groups, the Go-Ahead Group.
UKBA Chairman John Owen said: “The importance of drivers as skilled professionals and industry ambassadors cannot be overstated. At the sharp end, often in difficult and trying circumstances, they deliver their passengers safely and comfortably to their destinations, day in, day out: our new award will recognise particularly the customer service skills demonstrated by the best of our professionals.”
The other new award for 2008 is the Young Manager of the Year, which is designed to recognise and reward management talent in the industry in those under the age of 35. UKBA Director Chris Cheek said: “This will complement the new Passenger Transport Management Awards scheme we have just launched in conjunction with Transit magazine. We all recognise how essential it is to inspire young people to join our industry and run it in the future.”