East Midlands

Environment sponsored by Volvo Bus

Winner, Gold Award, Electrifying Nottingham - Nottingham City Council and partners

The Electric Bus Partnership began in September 2012. Forty-five fully electric buses are now being operated by partners trentbarton and Nottingham Community Transport. Thirteen more will be running by September 2016, bringing the total electric fleet to 58 vehicles - reportedly the largest fleet of electric buses in Europe. Significant reductions in carbon emissions and other pollutants have been, achieved while cost savings on fuel and servicing has enabled Nottingham City Council to fully maintain its contracted bus network.

The judges were impressed by the extent of the electric bus operation, the coherence of the system, the sustainability of the solution and by good, strong partnership working.

The Award for Sustained Marketing Excellence sponsored by Exterion Media

Finalist, Tweet, Tweet - Keeping Customers 'App-y through Digital Marketing - Nottingham City Transport

Digital marketing and social media have been embraced by Nottingham City Transport (NCT) for several years, providing customers with instant access to information through a multi-channel approach. A responsive website, live bus times online, free apps, social media accounts managed 24/7, personalised alerts and e-newsletters, supported by free Wi-Fi on buses have all helped NCT stay digitally ahead with, targeted social media advertising and a dedicated 'Get Mobile' campaign for promoting apps. Fifty percent of employees connect with NCT on staff digital channels, there are 42,000 YouTube hits on NCT's channel, 11,000 customers signed up for e-newsletters and NCT has had over one million customer Wi-Fi sessions on its fleet.

The judges liked the fact that Nottingham City Transport's Twitter account is monitored 24/7 and felt NCT's initiatives amounted to a good, strong project overall.

Top National Bus Driver: the Chris Moyes Memorial Award sponsored by Traffilog

Winner, Gold Award, Carole Hind - trentbarton

"Carole's immaculate presentation and warm, welcoming smile for every customer creates a great first impression," says her employer, trentbarton. "Her calm, patient approach to dealing with enquiries puts even the most anxious customers firmly at ease, and the standard of Carole's driving is unable to be faulted. A sparkling performance all round was recognised when Carole won trentbarton's Driver of the Year in 2015," it adds.

Winner, Bronze Award, Phil Rowson - Nottingham City Transport

When meeting Nottingham City Transport (NCT) bus driver Phil Rowson, you will be struck by his energy, enthusiasm and positivity - qualities which he channels into every aspect of his life, whether advising fellow drivers, building his own house or learning a new language to get to know fellow foreign passengers. Fity-six year old Phil has been driving for NCT for 13 years and he is as enthusiastic now as he was when he started. Every September, he personally meets and greets thousands of Freshers at NCT's stand. A modest man, Phil is renowned for his friendliness, impeccable service record and passion for his job and helps new drivers as a Mentor/Buddy and as supervising support driver to new recruits in their first few weeks. He has not had one day off sick in his 13 years of driving for NCT and has been awarded the highest number of commendations from passengers, and at his wife's suggestion, entered NCT's Seasonal Driver award, beating over 800 drivers for NCT Driver of the Year. He found a purse holding a considerable amount of money left on his bus, traced the owner via her library card where he pulled up to return it.

The judges were struck by the lengths Phil goes to make passengers welcome, not least his repertoire of Spanish, Italian and Mandarin phrases with which to welcome students, helping people to navigate round Nottingham and offering advice on the best value travel tickets and places to visit. They also praised his flawless record and his pragmatic approach when dealing with passengers frustrated due to the roadworks and infrastructure disruptions taking place in the city.

Top Shire Operator sponsored by Ticketer

Winner, Silver Award, - trentbarton

trentbarton says it is passionate about delivering a high quality inter-urban network of 278 buses across the East Midlands and puts down its success to what it describes as its exceptional drivers which it says are at the heart of its customer facing approach. "We aren't resting on our laurels, with fleet investment, innovation and improving the customer experience we are working hard to enhance our reputation as being the really good bus company," it adds.

The judges welcomed trentbarton's pioneering approach over the years and strong focus on marketing, noting other operators were adopting a similar approach.

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