North West

Engineer of the Year sponsored by IRTE

Finalist, Ian Chadwick - First Manchester

With over 20 years in the bus industry, Ian Chadwick is rated as an outstanding engineering leader, valued member of the team and a genuine asset to First Manchester by his employer. He oversees the engineering function of a large city centre depot and supports the wider business across Greater Manchester. Colleagues describe Ian as having excellent leadership skills and delivering great performance without a smile leaving his face. He is also praised for his methodical working and considering all options and listening to the ideas of his team and peers. Ian has become more and more involved in all elements of safety, not just within engineering. He has enabled his depot to reduce lost mileage to 0.28% - lower than across the six First Manchester depots. As well as focusing on his depot, Ian is able to 'think big' and his perspective includes the entire Greater Manchester business, good engineering performance, assisting colleagues when he can and willingness to accept extra responsibility.

The judges were impressed by Ian's twin approach of considering both his depot and First Manchester as a whole, and also praised his keenness for feedback from stakeholders including Optare, Siemens and TfGM.

Innovation sponsored by Alexander Dennis

Winner, Bronze Award, The Greater Manchester Young Person's mTicket - First Manchester

Research by First Manchester revealed the need to develop a targeted product for young bus users. The result is a ticket exclusively for 16-18 year olds - with unlimited use of services across Greater Manchester for ú10 a week - where no ID is needed. Instead, users upload a 'selfie' when they purchase the M-ticket to personalise the ticket.

While the judges noted that elements have appeared before, they were very impressed by the fact that First Manchester had carried out strong research, looked at the market and thought about the product. They welcomed the overall packaging and use of the mobile phone and 'selfies'.

Local Authority Bus Project of the Year sponsored by The TAS Partnership

Winner, Bronze Award, Partington Local Link service - Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester's (TfGM) Partington Local Link service shows how relatively small subsidies can greatly improve public transport services to help communities with specific needs at a local level and also contribute to targets of economic growth, employment and carbon emissions reduction. The link was introduced in 2007 and operated as a demand responsive minibus service. However, service design limited the scope of benefits offered to local residents. TfGM used LSTF funds to enhance the link and open up benefits such as serving shift workers starting early in the morning by extending the service to 5am. A number of partner agencies such as job centres, community groups and doctors surgeries were also involved.

The judges were impressed by significant passenger benefits within an employment area, improving employment prospects, as a result of looking at various possibilities rather than abandoning the link altogether.

The Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year sponsored by Passenger Transport

Winner, Bronze Award, The Greater Manchester Young Person's mTicket - First Manchester

Recognising a gap in the market for young passengers not in education, First Manchester set to work on a product to capture the imagination of young bus users and remove the status of the user as a barrier. Manchester's Young Person mTicket for 16-18 year olds was born and the company enlisted a 'youth blogger' to feed into the campaign. First also engaged with a dozen colleges and youth organisations including Bury College and Bolton 6th Form College. Roadshows were held to promote the product using First vehicles and using merchandise to engage with students. A key feature of the product was the absence of any requirement to provide ID but instead, the use an uploaded 'selfie' to personalise the ticket.

The judges welcomed the campaign for targeting a vital part of the market - young people - and were impressed to see the industry stepping up to the mark.

Finalist, Posh & Double Decks - Arriva Merseyside

Arriva Merseyside ran a wide-ranging and highly visible marketing campaign which centred on huge investment in double deck buses in Merseyside - 36 new buses and 48 more to come by the end of 2015. The question Arriva sought to answer was how to make a double deck stand out from the crowd. In their own words 'we undertook a posh initiative to shout about our double decks!' Working with Exterion, the straplines devised were: 'Posh & Double Decks', 'You wait for a great bus, then 36 come along at the same time,' and most recently 'Seeing Double'. As well as bus advertising, the campaign included door drops within a 0.5 mile radius of routes, digital advertising, road shows, press wraps in free newspapers and beer mats and bar runners in local pubs.

The judges liked the creative use of the double deck theme throughout the campaign.

Top City Operator sponsored by INIT Innovations

Winner, Silver Award, - Stagecoach Manchester

Stagecoach Manchester takes pride in its investment in staff, services and local community and its involvement in strong local partnerships. In 2014/15 the company carried 104 million passengers - an increase of 1% on the previous year, and has achieved continuous passenger growth for 14 consecutive years. Stagecoach Manchester operated 99.5% of its scheduled services and punctuality was 98.7% in 2014.

The judges commented that Stagecoach Manchester was the shining star of Stagecoach. The judges were impressed by the company's continued passenger growth and levels of investment, noting that the Hazelgrove Park & Ride scheme, in which the company is heavily investing, is the first of its kind for a UK operator.

Top National Bus Depot sponsored by Personal Group

Winner, Bronze Award, Birkenhead - Arriva North West

Arriva Birkenhead is one of the six garages which make up Arriva Merseyside. Arriva Birkenhead to operates cross-river services through the Mersey Tunnel, connecting the Wirral to Liverpool. What Arriva Birkenhead describes as 'the Team Birkenhead ethos' is very much at the heart of everything at the depot. "The garage is very proud of the service we operate and our team who operate it," it says.

The judges found the depot to be impressive in terms of its level of investment and improvement, noting the removal of bus lanes, while keeping punctuality strong.

Unsung Heroes Award sponsored by Backhouse Jones

Highly Commended, Natalie Bessaad - Transport for Greater Manchester

Natalie Bessaad is a Customer Service Support Officer based in Transport for Greater Manchester's contact centre where she helps and advises bus users on a daily basis. "Aged just 19 she has shown great maturity and professionalism in one of the most high profile customer service roles since joining TfGM as an apprentice," her employer says.

Young Manager of the Year sponsored by Chartered Institute of Logisitics & Transport

Finalist, Rob Hughes - First Manchester

Rob Hughes has been Acting Business Manager of First Manchester's Bolton depot since the start of 2015, and is also leading a project to introduce a busway to Manchester city centre. During 2012, Rob was part of First's award-winning transport team in the London 2012 Olympics. As Staff Manager at Manchester Queens Road depot, he was heavily involved in a business improvement project, when he focused on coaching drivers to help reduce DriveGreen scores. An approachable manager, Rob has a strong reputation for being fair, consistent and appropriately challenged when needed. He also works closely with Bolton College to promote careers in the bus industry. Rob has been the driving force behind Bolton depot's performance improvements during a challenging year of ongoing pay negotiations and divisional restructure. He also coaches his colleagues and peers and seeks to encourage fresh thinking.

The judges were impressed by Rob's tenacity, diligent attention to detail, and his commitment to making a difference.

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