and 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 will be selected from the highest-scoring contestants of the awards for
- Top Independent Operator
- Top Shire Operator
- Top City Operator.
All these awards use the same criteria, which are described under the individual categories. Separate entries are not therefore sought for this category.
In selecting the overall winner, the UK Bus Operator of the Year, judges consider the different circumstances of operators of varying sizes and operating terrains: 'mystery traveller' assessments are very important and are often a deciding factor.
Winner: Thamesdown Transport
A new name on the UK Bus Awards Roll of Honour, Swindon Borough Council-owned Thamesdown Transport has earned its right to be classed as the top operator for 2011 through a number of leading marketing and commercial initiatives on top of first class reliability and punctuality figures.
The company's growing reputation has been confirmed by a 'top three' position in the customer satisfaction surveys carried out by Passenger Focus in 2010, and by achieving the highest scores from the 2011 Bus Awards mystery travellers.
As well as increasing passenger numbers and growing profit in an area hit harder than many by the recession, the company has a strong commitment to the environment, safety, training and the community in which it operates.
Runner Up: Lothian Buses
By contrast, Lothian has been a consistent award winner, and the company has recovered from a difficult couple of years due to the road works for Edinburgh's new tramway. As a result, it has regained its position as one of the UK's most admired bus companies.
Confirmed by top scores from the 2011 Bus Awards mystery travellers, as well as a very high standard of presentation the company provides levels of reliability and value for money for its customers that are among the very best, all leading to increased passenger numbers and improved profit.
With its ambitious fleet investment programme and other initiatives, Lothian is heavily committed to environmental improvements; and it has made imaginative use of social media methods of communication and its 'Bustracker' real-time information system.