with QBE Insurance
This is the "grand prix" of the UK Bus Awards.
Pre-eminent amongst bus operators in the UK, the UK Bus Operator of the Year, more than any other, delivers consistently excellent customer service. The company will demonstrate its success through sustained effort over the long term.
The creme-de-la-creme, the winner of the UK Bus Operator of the Year was selected from the highest-scoring contestants of the Independent Operator, Shire Operator and City Operator awards. The results for each of those awards can be found on the relevant pages.
The Independent Operator, Shire Operator, City Operator and UK Bus Operator of the Year Awards all use the same criteria and judging system, which is described under those categories. Separate entries are not therefore possible for this category.
In selecting the overall winner, the UK Bus Operator of the Year, judges will consider the different circumstances of operators of varying sizes and operating terrains: 'mystery traveller' assessments will be very important and may well be a deciding factor - as theyhave often been in the past.
Winner: Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company
The company has an enviable reputation in the local community it serves. It is perhaps the best example today of how partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders can grow patronage and encourage modal shift consistently over many years.
With their partners, Brighton & Hove were at the forefront of industry developments (e.g. real time information, and catering for people with disabilities) which are now commonplace, but they have not rested on their reputation and have continued to move forward with innovative marketing, clever ticketing, and a passion for excellent customer service to support their network of high frequency services provided by a very modern fleet.
Our mystery traveller found Brighton & Hove’s reputation for excellence fully justified:
"The real-time information is one of the best in the country, with clear, well-maintained displays that actually work.
"The company’s ambitious flat fare system (with helpful short-hop fares available, too) makes for simplicity and speeds up boarding. Feedback from customers is not only acted on and taken seriously (often at managing director level), it is actively encouraged. Driver skill is good, too, both in terms of customer care and smooth driving.
"Fleet presentation is excellent, with buses looking smart and clean, and self-promotion of the company’s products - indeed of the whole ofidea of bus travel being a good thing for the city - on the outside of the fleet is done with wit, style and pzazz."
Congratulations go to Brighton & Hove!