Greater London

Engineer of the Year sponsored by IRTE

Winner, Silver Award, Daren Coppin - Stagecoach London

Engineering Manager Daren Coppin has, in nearly four years, turned one of the biggest depots in the country from previously poor engineering performance to one that is measured amongst the top engineering depots in London. Daren took full control of Stagecoach's West Ham garage in 2011 when there was a lack of a clear engineering strategy, direction and control. He focused on getting the simple things right - day in, day out - and set out which standards were acceptable and which weren't; the key was to hold the line over time so the standard became the norm. Daren was also keen to identify the technical needs of his staff and also analysed data for vehicle breakdowns and defects in order to develop a technical strategy and a training matrix. Regular briefings and updates in the canteen and building relationships with driving and operational staff were key, and Daren set up regular review meetings with the unions and published all KPI data in the engineering canteen. Daren has nominated more of his staff than any other depot for Stagecoach's upskilling program and has a focused approach to apprentice learning, with regular one-to-one meetings with each apprentice. MoT first time pass rate is 98% and lost mileage has improved from 0.97% in 2009 to 0.13% in 2014. Daren's star quality is his tenacity and never giving in and keeping the faith, and living and breathing his strategy has earned him respect from staff and senior management.

The judges were impressed by Daren's achievements given the degree of difficulty at West Ham garage in previous days and welcomed his tenacious perseverance throughout a long and challenging period of transforming West Ham's engineering department.

Innovation sponsored by Alexander Dennis

Winner, Silver Award, Bus passenger counting and occupancy screen - Transport for London

In 2014, as part of Transport for London's Year of the Bus celebration, the 'Innovations' group looked at ways to enhance the passenger experience through innovative technology. The bus passenger counting and occupancy screen initiative was introduced as a trial. The initiative seeks to encourage passengers to take a seat on the upper deck of a bus by indicating how many seats are available upstairs and where they are.

While the judges noted that the project is still in its infancy, they were very impressed by its potential for future development not least in dispersing crowds, spreading bus loads and improving the efficiency of the industry. The judges were interested to see how widely the trial could be applied in future and its ability to change behaviour on the ground.

London Bus Garage of the Year sponsored by Transport for London

Winner, Gold Award, Alperton - Metroline West

Metroline West's Alperton Garage works as a team, from cleaners to drivers, supervisors and managers. All have combined efforts to maximise the performance of the garage and develop, maintain and improve a system that benefits the staff, company but most importantly the customers. The KPIs were particularly impressive - especially the low lost mileage figure. A Wall of Fame, on show at the garage, was introduced as a way of recognising excellent staff and motivating others to improve their customer service. Senior drivers have been promoting a passenger comfort scheme using the 'Drive Green' telematics system. Engagement with local schools via TfL's Youth Ambassadors has helped improve both the behaviour of school children and the attitude of drivers towards them. With some pupils also undertaking work experience at the garage the overall effect has been to achieve a noticeable reduction in vandalism and graffiti. By prioritising driver attitude and performance through a customer interaction programme Alperton has moved up the Mystery Traveller Survey results table into the top 10 of London bus garages.

The judges felt that all this effort, with such positive results, deserved the Gold award.

Winner, Silver Award, Holloway - Metroline

Holloway Garage is 108 years old but the Metroline operated depot's KPIs are very good and, with a variety of vehicle types including the New Routemaster, route performance has been improved by applying careful attention to engineering procedures. The emphasis is on 'first time fix' for defects, and by engaging with drivers to get more detailed defect reports, repeat faults have been minimised. Time and effort spent on staff welfare and family friendly rotas have helped to improve attendance and route forums. Mystery Traveller reports have been improved by seeing each driver to discuss in detail any areas of concern with the training department then ensuring an improvement in customer interaction and professionalism. To raise driving standards Holloway has invested in Drive Assist, a telematics system monitor driving performance, and VIGIL training using a bus fitted with cameras internally and externally to record driving standards. This allows footage to be played back to the driver to highlight driving performance whether bad or good. Staff praise days are held for exceptional performers who can otherwise be overlooked and every effort is made for good relations with local residents in Holloway's densely populated area.

Winner, Bronze Award, Stamford Brook - RATP Dev London

Colleagues at RATP Dev London's Stamford Brook are immensely proud of their garage and are focused on making it number one in London. All staff have been made aware of how important they are to the business and their role in the æbigger pictureÆ. Drivers know that customers have a choice in how they travel so they do their best to make the journey a pleasant one. On the practical side, drivers are aware that it is crucial to maintain good headways and they have a great working relationship with controllers. Customer service is continually reinforced during and after training. Accident prevention is reinforced through regular briefings about æhot spotsÆ on the road. The garage does not have the traditional divide between operations and engineering and team members work well with controllers to minimise lost mileage. The approach to customer service took a leap forward with the introduction of customer assistants and Stamford Brook played an active role in the development of the customer service apprenticeship scheme. The garage regularly holds events where people in the local community can visit the garage and talk to managers, remembering that they serve the local community and its voice is important û after all, this is their bus service. Well done team!

Finalist, Twickenham - Abellio London

Twickenham Garage is committed to providing a fun, engaging and safe place to work; from campaigns to raise driver awareness about safe driving techniques and disability awareness, through to carol concerts and rewarding drivers with chocolate coins. An Employee of the Month award is presented, rewarding an outstanding employee for a high number of Customer Commendations or going above and beyond expectations. Every driver who has achieved excellent result for a Driver Quality Monitoring assessment or a high score on a Mystery Traveller Survey assessment has their photograph put on the ôWall of Fameö and receives a ú10 voucher for excellent driving. Every driver is asked to welcome customers onto the bus. Since implementing a safe driving campaign the number of driver avoidable collisions has fallen noticeably and a driver performance board in the garage's brand new front area indicates the key areas in which staff are excelling across the board, for example the attendance record is high, but noting specific areas for improvement such as reducing lost mileage due to driver error.

Finalist, Bromley - Stagecoach London

Being a good neighbour, being an active part of the local community and providing the bus services within it, gives Stagecoaxch London's Bromley team a sense of responsibility to do their best to ensure they are at the top of their game, day in, day out. With an average length of service within the garage of 10 years, and three employees having over 40 years service, drivers and engineers clearly enjoy working here. At the recent company Bus Driver of the Year event, of the 30 drivers eligible for entry, seven were from Bromley. Having a stable workforce has massive advantages when looking to influence performance. Much effort has been put into raising the standards of both driver performance and vehicle presentation. Almost all drivers at Bromley have the BTEC qualification and a Greenroad drive quality performance score of 14, a 26% improvement over last year and over the past year Bromley has regularly been in the top 10% of performing garages in London. Being in the heart of the community the team work hard to be good neighbours, engaging in and have a positive influence on local events as well as promoting engineering apprenticeships at local schools and colleges.

Luke Rees Pulley Charitable Trust Award for Top London Bus Driver sponsored by Transport for London

Winner, Gold Award, Viva Aikins - RATP Dev London

Viva Aikins is one of RATP Dev London's most respected drivers, based at Shepherd's Bush garage. She carries out her job with flair, professionalism and great skill. Highly regarded by customers and colleagues alike, she has established herself as an indispensable member of the garage team. She embodies all the attributes desired in a London bus driver and is a great role model. Viva gets an enormous amount of satisfaction in helping people and resolving any queries or questions they might have. She is particularly adept at assisting elderly customers and less-able bodied people and is careful to ensure they are seated before pulling away. Having learned to sign the alphabet, Viva is able to help customers with hearing and speech difficulties; she also knows basic German (and elementary French) and makes a point of keeping up-to-date with these two languages because of the high number of tourists she carries on her bus. Viva is a good team player and believes it is crucial for everyone to 'look after one another'. Controllers find her cheerful, 'can do' approach an enormous help to them in doing their difficult jobs. Viva has a sharp awareness of the business side of garage operations and takes a keen interest in how the garage's performance compares to others. She's a stickler for maintaining headways and, like anything else about Viva and her job, has perfected it to a fine art.

With her first-class driving skills, helpful nature, professional appearance and great approach to customer service, she epitomises everything one expects from a London bus driver so the judges considered Viva Aikins to be the worthy winner of the Gold award.

Winner, Silver Award, Kingsley Tomlin - Metroline West

Kingsley is an exemplary employee and a driver for Metroline West at its Willsden Junction depot. He has received numerous commendations for his actions, helping his passengers, politeness and professionalism. He is eager to serve and engage with his passengers, whether it is greeting them as they board, or keeping them informed of any service disruptions by getting on the PA system - and his passengers really appreciate this. Kingsley is a shining example of outstanding customer service, pride and passion, and that being a professional driver requires more than just giving a smooth ride. He has also been commended by his manager for being a role model with his smart appearance when reporting for duty, friendly disposition and willingness to assist when called upon. His Drive Green scores when driving in service are excellent.

For all these reasons the judges felt that Kingsley is a deserving winner of the Silver award.

Winner, Bronze Award, Peter Growns - Go-Ahead London

Go-Ahead London's driver Peter Gowns' manager says that he is an invaluable member of staff: as a mentor he willingly passes on his vast knowledge, experience, driving and communication skills to new drivers in an unassuming and understated fashion that immediately puts people at their ease. He is an Institute of Advanced Motorists trainer/assessor, coaching many drivers through their public service vehicle test. His cheerful disposition allows him to get his points across in a friendly informative manner. Supervisors find him to be a flexible and willing worker. In teh company's 'disability transport awareness bus days' he helps the less able in learning to cope with the day to day challenges of using public transport. Peter has further expanded his role by working with the community on the company's open days.

Peter Growns relationships with both passengers and staff set a shining example of how a driver should conduct himself at work. The judges are therefore pleased to award Peter the Bronze trophy.

Finalist, Ezeta Coleman - Abellio London

Abellio London's Ezeta Coleman is said to be an absolute gem of a driver at the Battersea garage, always polite and smiling, she's also flexible and hard working to boot. Consistently smart and wearing her uniform with pride Ezeta is a smooth and safe driver who is consistently courteous and friendly to all of her customers, greeting them as they board her bus, using the PA system when appropriate and waiting for people running for the bus. Her record shows a number of Gold Tickets handed out by managers travelling on her bus and four box 1 driving assessments - the top score attainable. Ezeta is incredibly reliable with no sickness or absence in her 15 years working with her company - an impressive record combined with a flurry of top notch driving assessments - she really is a Top London Bus Driver!

Finalist, Myat Han - Abellio London

Myat Han loves her job as a London bus driver for Abellio London at the Twickenham depot: she takes pride in her contribution to the communities she serves and makes sure that every journey is as good as it possibly can be. Her customer service is second to none and she makes sure that every journey is as good as it possibly can be. As a result, Myat has received several customer commendations: comments have included: ôShe is always happy and brightens the passengersÆ dayö and ôPolite and courteous - it's always a pleasure to travel on her busö. Myat takes her responsibilities very seriously and has an excellent record in all areas of her employment. She is always ready to help her peers in any way she can and is held in high esteem by her colleagues. Her manager says that Myat is an inspiring role model who showcases what being an outstanding London bus driver means.

Finalist, Richard Burton - Abellio London

"Richard demonstrates our values every day," says his employer Abellio London. "Through simple acts of kindness and compassion he ensures that he looks after his customers to the best of his ability. His humanity is clear to see and yet he's humble. Richard's actions are exactly what we'd like all our drivers to show and more. He's a real credit to the company."

Finalist, Abdullah Bin Masood - Arriva London South

Abdullah Bin Masood is based at Arriva London's Brixton garage, and his previous experience in the retail and training industry has certainly played its part in him being recognised by many colleagues as a shining example to not only new drivers but also to the veterans amongst the driving fraternity. His enthusiasm and drive to deliver a better service to his customers is regularly rewarded with a commendation. His customer focussed approach has seen him receive no less than eight customer commendations. He is highly thought of by his supervisors where one said, ôAbdullah is an absolute pleasure to work with. He is flexible, reliable, polite and helpful and always has a smile on his face. He will do anything at a momentÆs notice and is happy to help by agreeing to change his scheduled duty at a moment's notice. He is a real star.ö

Finalist, Yvette Singh - Stagecoach London

Stagecoach London driver Yvette Singh is passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated about her work. She takes her role as a Driver, Mentor and Acting Garage Clerk at Catford incredibly seriously, and always strives to represent the very best that any driver can be. Yvette is always understanding and sympathetic to any driver that approaches her for guidance. Not only is this self evident in the way she engages with her customers and colleagues, but also her willingness to help promote the perception of buses in the various ambassador roles she undertakes. Since joining the industry in 2005 Yvette has made it her personal objective to be the very best in everything she does so as to promote the most positive image of bus travel. An active participant in supporting activities such as a disability forum, ambassador at the Year of the Bus Cavalcade and playing a strong part in TfL's '100 Years of Women in Transport film', Yvette epitomises everything that is good about the bus industry in London.

Unsung Heroes Award sponsored by Backhouse Jones

Winner, Gold Award, Martin Davis - RATP Dev London

Martin Davis has helped bring numerous criminals to light through his meticulous work in running RATP Dev London's CCTV department. Martin's role is to track down people who assault drivers or damage buses, but what makes him an unsung hero in his company's eyes is that he has become a dependable, indispensable source of information to the Metropolitan Police Service for non-bus crime. He manages a team of four full-time analysts and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the CCTV. Around 40% of Martin's work is police related and involves liaising with the police about crimes committed on and off the bus. Following the attempted second bombing in July 2005, Martin carried out a huge amount of work in assisting the police and a straight 36 hours with two offices checking footage and helping to piece together events. Martin's commitment and dedication to making public transport safe for the travelling public is commendable in the eyes of RATP Dev London and he gladly works many extra hours for his job - it is his way of contributing something to the community.

The judges considered Martin to be the epitome of the Unsung Hero - his rigorous monitoring of CCTV day in, day out has even had a national effect. Martin is, in a way, a detective who stands out not only for dramatic issues but for the for the minor incidents and lost property - which is why he has won this category.

Highly Commended, Stephanie Daniel - RATP Dev London

Stephanie Daniel is Internal Audit Manager for RATP Dev London, but it was for her secondment to develop and implement a new duty allocation and payroll system that prompted the nomination. "This system is the mainstay of the company," says her employer. "Stephanie's dedicated work on this project makes her a true 'unsung hero'," it adds.

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