Greater London

Engineer of the Year sponsored by IRTE

Finalist, Paul Gooderson - RATP Dev London

When Paul Gooderson joined RATP Dev London from the MOD two years ago, it was clear to him that much work was required if the Engineering department was to be made fit for the future and capable of meeting the challenges of operating in London today. It was no easy undertaking, but Paul has made enormous strides in the transformation process and a new culture is becoming embedded. The "we've always done it that way" outlook is being replaced by a new receptivity to change. Paul has also played a key role in developing the new apprenticeship programme, which now recruits five young people a year. Paul's ambition is to partner with a technical college outside London to develop RATP Dev London's own academy, enabling all training to be done in-house. As Head of Engineering, Paul has combined technical excellence, keen commercial acumen and long-term business vision to transform RATP Dev London's engineering function into one that is a leader among bus operators in the capital.

The judges noted that Paul has undoubtedly been a successful agent of change, transforming not only the look of the engineering areas across RATP Dev London's garages, but the culture into one that is receptive to change. His military background enabled him to easily create new systems bring order to the department.

London Bus Garage of the Year sponsored by Transport for London

Winner, Gold Award, Leyton - Stagecoach London

Stagecoach London's Leyton is a busy city garage with 124 vehicles, including 40 New Routemasters, and 2.2m passenger journeys each month. Overall performance has improved greatly over the past few years and now delivers a much more reliable service to our customers. Driving standards have improved, evidenced by the much improved TfL DQM scores and the success of the garage's new Personal Development Champions, and The Loop intranet site which keeps the team to keep up to date and educated. The garage views TfL's Hello London course very positively in assisting drivers to further enhance their customer service skills. The scheme is promoted with drivers before they attend and followed up with each individual afterwards to discuss how they found the course and what they are going to take away from it and put in to practice. The garage believes follow up has been fundamental for drivers to realise that customer service is a very important topic that we are keen to assist them with. There is a popular garage football team which includes drivers, engineers, managers and head office staff. Reflecting its East London location, it is a multi cultural garage and has a driver on the committee of the local Mosque which the garage supports with an annual charity fund raising procession for disabled children. Several local nurseries have visited the garage, and working with the company's head office, Leyton regularly welcome young adults for work experience schemes for school and college students. The garage also works closely with the Waltham Forest Safer Transport Team and maintains a good working relationship with the local Fire Brigade, assisting with its training events and improving its awareness of vehicle designs and major incident planning.

The judges noted that as a big inner London garage, Leyton manages to operate a reliable service in a difficult area with known bottlenecks such as the Blackwall Tunnel. Customer service is also high on the garage's agenda alongside continued staff development. It was also noted that the garage has excellent links with schools and organisations, making it a part of the local community and a worthy Gold Winner.

Winner, Silver Award, Hounslow Heath - RATP Dev London

Staff at Hounslow Heath garage focus their attention on one end goal: improving the customer experience. All employees at the garage, whether it be the general manager, the driver, the engineering chargehand or the person who washes the buses, understands that the customer is at the heart of everything they do. All team members, many of whom have worked at Hounslow Heath for many years, are clear about the contribution they are expected to make towards the garage's success and are accountable for it. Managers are convinced that it is the strong teamwork ethic and personal accountability that are behind the garage's success. RATP Dev's Hounslow Heath is a relatively small garage housing less than 100 vehicles and its high morale and strong 'family' atmosphere in born out in having the lowest staff turnover in the company. The garage works with local beaver and scout groups and well as with local schools promoting public transport.

The judges noted the exceptional commitment to customer care and team spirit at Hounslow Heath, as well as the the work with local schools in prompting travel by bus.

Winner, Bronze Award, Brixton - Arriva London South

Arriva South London's Brixton garage is a large depot housing 150 vehicles. It has implemented several improvements over the past year and ended 2015 without any staff lost mileage. The garage has built on its mileage performance strategies to include enhanced root cause analysis to help prevent breakdowns and improve reliability. Staff engagement and morale has been strengthened with personal development initiatives for supervisors, open forums and newsletters to keep everyone motivated towards targets areas. The garage has invested in new canteen facilities and promoted a Green Wellness healthy eating scheme as part of a programme to modernise the environment which also include a computer room where staff can complete a wide range of training courses. The garage has also begun working with the local community in support of the Lambeth Bus Day, a partnership with local schools and organisations seeking to assist those new to London's growing bus network. To reinforce high standards, the garage has implemented a hall of fame photoboard and staff rewards scheme for high performance.

A number of improvements were noted by the judges in the metrics and were impressed in the upgrades to facilities for staff and the promotion of a recognition and reward scheme.

Finalist, Palmers Green - Arriva London

Home to a fleet of 70 vehicles, Arriva London's Palmers Green Garage has a vibrant, friendly and diverse workforce that reflects the cosmopolitan city that it serves. Driver's length of service ranges from a matter of days to 44 years, but everyone mixes well and are supportive of each other. The engineering team maintain a close relationship with the route controllers showing commitment to the provision of a regular, reliable and customer focussed bus journey. The management and supervisory team regularly travel on vehicles to identify areas of improvement. A number of initiatives to upskill the staff to meet the needs of the customer have been developed. Staff from the garage are involved in charitable pursuits, including cycling, walking and running events and social events including paint balling, go karting and cycle rides have been organised. Staff have also visited local schools to provide an insight into the life of a bus driver and provide an introduction to the use of public transport.

The judges noted an increase in staff turnover and the introduction of a new management team, which is making good headway with improving the team spirit at the depot and re-introducing social activities.

Finalist, Putney - Go-Ahead London

The Putney garage is operated by Go-Ahead London and houses just over 100 vehicles. It has a good record in service and driver performance, supported by the improvement on DQM and a reduction in the number of complaints. It is in the top ten best garages for complaints, which has been achieved by having a well trained and engaged team of drivers who understand what is required, and deliver performance on the road in a safe, professional and skilled manner. A lot of work has gone in to engage all staff through more effective and frequent communication, both on a one to one and group level. The garage is big on sharing and celebrating its success as a team and as individuals.

The judges noted the emphasis on driver training and applauded the culture of sharing best practice throughout the garage. Improved communication, in response to suggestions from staff, and a reward scheme are also positive steps forward to improve team morale.

Finalist, Uxbridge - Metroline West

Metroline Wests' Uxbridge garage houses almost 100 vehicles and pride itself on having a strong teamwork ethos. Drivers, engineers, cleaners, supervisors, managers and administrative staff all work together to continually improve the performance of the garage and they work hard to make sure everyone is involved and feels a part of this special team. The depot feels that this strong sense of unity, cooperation and teamwork helps foster greater communication and involvement, which is ultimately reflected in its performance, customer service levels and safety standards. It is a diverse and multicultural team and has been the best performing team and garage in the company for the last two years running, in having the lowest number of collisions. It is also proud to feature regularly at the top of the TfL league table for Mystery Traveller Surveys (Bus Customer Experience Surveys).

The judges noted the exceptional team spirit in this garage all working toward a shred goal of providing a safe and punctual bus service.

New Horizons Award sponsored by Institute of Road Transport Engineers

Finalist, E-paper bus stops - Transport for London

Real Time Information is the life-blood of a metropolitan transport network, and despite the rise in personalised services and smartphone apps, the demand for signage on street remains high. Although TfL's Live Bus Arrivals system gives arrival information for more than 19,000 bus stops via the internet, text message, application program interface as well as over 2,500 on-street countdown signs in bus shelters, it is not practical to install these signs at every stop. Using e-paper displays similar to those used on e-book readers allows easy fitting to existing stops and the reading clarity of paper. A tiny amount of power is used to change the display and power the 3G communication system which can be provided by a small solar panel and battery mounted on the stop. This allows for real time countdown alongside timetable, and any other information, to be displayed instantly. The first trial started a bus stop in Waterloo in November last year and seven more trial locations have been added this year with a the results expected next year.

Whilst this system is a new and innovative use for e-paper technology, the judges thought that it was much too early in the scheme to make a judgement on its viability long term and would welcome an entry in a future year when the outcomes of the trial sites are known and a decision has been made about its rollout. However, recognising the innovation, and its potential use in other areas of bus transport, the judges thought that the project should be included in the list of finalists this year.

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

Winner, Silver Award, Denis McMahon - Abellio Surrey

"Denis McMahon embodies an ideal customer-focussed bus driver," enthuses his employer, Abellio Surrey. He's based at the company's Byfleet depot and loves his job, always ensuring that his customers have a safe and pleasant journey. He greets all of them as they board and and wishes them a nice day as they get off. Despite having only been with the company for two and a half years, he has received an impressive amount of customer commendations, and in March this year he won the Employee of the Year at the Group-wide Abellio Achievement Awards. "Denis is an inspiration to his colleagues and a credit to the bus industry!"

Although having only been a driver for three years, Denis clearly enjoys his job and his driving and exceptional customer service skills have been recognised by his employer becoming Abellio Group Employee of the Year. The judges noted that he likes to share his knowledge and has been seconded to other garages in London to pass on his skills to other drivers. He is is certainly an asset to the industry.

Top Independent Operator sponsored by

Finalist - Ensign Bus Company

Ensign Bus is an independent operator that runs a fully commercial network in difficult operating territory around the A13 and M25 Dartford crossing area. Numerous improvements have been made over the past 12 months. Four new BCI 12.5m tri-axle 98 seat air conditioned double deck buses have been added to private hire fleet, with a further 12 BCI 10.8m double deck service buses on order for delivery towards the end of the year giving an average front line fleet age profile of 5.8 years, with the oldest service route buses dating from 2008. The private hire department has continued to grow and a major source of increased revenue has been additional film work. Recent work has included Tridents in Dr Who, Scanias on the new Jackie Chan film and RT's on the new Brad Pitt film in addition to numerous commercials and period set dramas. Tilbury Cruise terminal introduced a more intense schedule, meaning thousands of additional passengers and luggage needed moving safely and securely. Ensign was approached to trial a service, which led to a contract being awarded for over 100 jobs and the acquisition of single decks branded for the docks fitted with luggage racking layout. The investment in facilities has continued with the conversion of a 25,000sqft storage area into a workshop with heating, exhaust extraction, LED lighting, a six vehicle chassis work bay with mobile column lifts, a fully equipped eight bay body repair area and a tachograph fitment and calibration facility with rolling road. Service improvements include taking route 44 from half hourly Monday to Friday to every 15 minutes in the peak, route 73 has been upgraded from a 20 minute peak service to 10 minute, and following the failure of a local operator, Ensign took over route 21 -which soon become commercial and improved reliability with newer vehicles. Also new this year is a mobile app, allowing passengers to see exactly what control staff see. This has been particularly useful during the road improvement scheme at the M25/A13 junction.

The judges noted that it has been another strong year for Ensign Bus with improvements to the fleet, operations, facilities and the introduction of a mobile app for customers. The judges also highlighted the 2% pay increase on top of 2.5% the previous year.

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

Winner, Gold Award, Dean Golding - Go-Ahead London

Dean Golding has been a valuable member of Go-Ahead London's team at its Belvedere garage for more than 12 years, and has worked in the bus industry for over 20 years. He has always been a flexible and amiable person willing to go that extra mile and first to put himself forward to help others, gaining himself a high level of respect from his colleagues and management for his knowledge and approachability. Dean always gives his time to assist others and is an intelligent and conscientious worker with an excellent attendance and clean disciplinary history. His driving standards are high and customer service skills are excellent. He supports charity work and has done several events putting his body through some torturous treatment to raise funds for good causes. Dean can also be seen helping out with various projects around the garage. A recent example is that a garden area introduced for the drivers to relax in and here Dean is often spending time weeding and irrigating the plant areas, clearing litter and other rubbish all in his own time and with no prompting.

The judges were impressed with Dean's consistently high standards over 20 years of service. He goes out of this way to help passengers and colleagues alike and is especially good at supporting new drivers. An impressive number of commendations have been received from customers praising Deans driving and customer service skills.

Winner, Silver Award, Terry Miles - RATP Dev London

"Terry Miles is just the kind of driver a customer hopes to find at the wheel of a bus," says his employer, RATP Dev London. "Smart, knowledgeable about the capital, aware of performance issues such as bunching, and always mindful of the safety of his customers, Terry embodies all the best attributes of the London bus driver," it adds. Terry is based at the Stamford Brook garage, and passengers find they instantly warm to his gentle charm, making him approachable and keen to please. If journeys take longer than expected, Terry makes a point of using the intercom to keep his customers informed of the situation such as when there are roadworks or delays caused by an accident. He finds that if he is proactive and tells customers there are problems ahead then they are generally understanding and appreciative of the effort to keep them informed. It's clear that Terry enjoys his job and is proud of what he does.

The judges noted that Terry is a driver with almost 20 years service and an exemplary driver combining excellent customer service with driving skill. Undoubtedly an asset to the business, Terry is a good ambassador for the bus industry.

Winner, Bronze Award, Nadine Allen - CT Plus

Nadine Allen has been a driver for CT Plus for nine years and is based at the Ash Grove depot. She regularly goes the extra mile for passengers and sets an example of customer service to her peers that would stand out in any industry. "Nadine combines the best of customer care with the highest driving standards to ensure that the whole experience of travelling by bus is a first-rate one for our customers," says her employer. This is exemplified by a professional, positive attitude in the workplace and evidenced by outstanding driving assessments, and commendations from managers. "We believe she is credit to CT Plus and the profession itself," the company adds.

The judges were impressed with Nadine's professionalism and customer service skills as a driver. She makes a point of greeting passengers as they get onboard and thanks them when they touch in as well as making sure that everyone is seated or holding a handrail before she pulls away.

Finalist, Felicia Grazette - Abellio London

"Felicia is everything that we look for in a bus driver," says her employer Abellio London. "She is a committed member of the team who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the travelling public enjoy a safe, reliable and comfortable journey." Felicia works with drivers at her Battersea depot in an informal coaching role and has also supported the depot in training drivers on how to deal with wheelchair users. She is a great ambassador for the industry and has been involved in a number of TfL initiatives, including featuring in training and induction videos, attending a buggy summit, giving her voice for the new on-board announcements and being part of a radio advertising campaign to broaden the public's view of the job of a bus drivers. She also works with schools and is a qualified Transport Youth Engagement Officer, a role that involves educating children how safely travel on buses.

The judges praised Felicia's 'can do' spirit and the very wide range of activities in which she has been involved from voicing next stop announcements and radio commercials to giving talks to children and being an advocate for elderly and disabled passengers, all alongside her regular day job as a skilled bus driver.

Finalist, Helen Webster - Arriva London

Enfield garage's Helen Webster regularly goes above and beyond her usual expected duty as a bus driver. She is conscientious, hardworking and considerate to her colleagues and customers, which is reflected in the commendations she regularly receives. Helen regularly represents Arriva London at commercial events and she also assists the driver training department by taking a bus to visit schools with disabled children to help them understand the role of a bus driver. In addition, she recently attended a local school for World Book Day and read the children stories from the book 'The Naughty Bus' as well as several singalongs with the children. Helen has also been used for bus driver recruitment adverts and can be seen on the side of the company's training vehicles.

Helen's additional work with schools is what stood out with the judges on top of her driving duties, though that's just scratching the surface of what else she done.

Finalist, Richard Pincombe - Arriva London

Richard Pincombe has worked for Arriva London for almost 15 years and has become a valued member of the Barking garage team. In the first half of this year, he has received two commendable Mystery Traveller reports which highlight his excellent customer service skills and the pride he takes in delivering a good service. He also received a positive driving observation report from AA Drivetech in which the assessor reported that Richard's drive "was smooth throughout and comfortable for the passengers with good lane discipline" and that he "acknowledged passengers as they boarded and stopped close to the kerb at bus stops". These positive reports led to Richard being nominated for the Arriva London Bus Driver of the Year competition.

The judges commented favourably on Richard's driving ability and his willingness to participate in projects around the garage and beyond, such as recording a radio advertisement for TfL.

Finalist, Peter Huttly - Go-Ahead London

Although he has only been a bus driver for three years, Go-Ahead London driver Peter Huttly has made quite an impression on his passengers and colleagues. "We have a individual here at Orpington who cares about the role as as a driver and cares about delivering a good service to every passenger he meets," enthuses his employer. Based at the company's Orpington depot, he is known as an approachable and friendly member of the team helping to make the garage a welcoming environment for everyone. He has an exemplary attendance record with no time off in the entire time he has been with the company. Peter steps in when others are off sick and helps cover the open work and Peter has had no accidents or collisions.

Clearly Peter is a valued member of staff and the judges hope that he will maintain his high standards for the year ahead. Customer commendations were excellent and support he has given to colleagues is greatly appreciated.

Finalist, Hirji Hirani - Metroline Travel

Already Metroline Travel's Driver of the Year 2016, Hirji Hirani is dedicated to the job and is a welcoming and friendly face around the Cricklewood depot. He is polite, friendly, very hard working and respected, and decided by his managers and colleagues as an ambassador for bus drivers. Hirji always reports for work on time, is always proud to wear his uniform, and ensures that he delivers the highest and most consistent levels of customer service and driving standards to his passengers. He is consistently the highest scorer across all Metroline garages on its driving telematics system and is very dedicated to providing a smooth, welcoming and safe journey for his passengers.

Drivers that give their passengers a smooth ride are just what the industry needs, and the judges noted that Hirji Hirani is such a driver and worthy of the recognition he has received.

Unsung Heroes Award sponsored by Backhouse Jones

Winner, Gold Award, Ricky Lennon - RATP Dev UK

While most of London sleeps, Run-Out Supervisor Ricky Lennon is making sure that RAPT Dev London's fleet of 70 vehicles at Park Royal Garage is ready to our. Arriving at work at 3.30am, six days a week, Ricky is the mainstay of the morning run-out. His core responsibilities are to oversee drivers' pre-service checks, ensure that drivers are matched with the correct bus and oversee their departure from the garage. Ricky goes above and beyond in many ways. He is adamant that only clean buses leave the garage, so if he spots a dirty bus and a cleaner is not readily available, he will grab all the cleaning equipment and do the job himself. He says it only takes 10 minutes - a minor time investment if it means a punctual, clean and safe bus. If he notices a minor fault with a bus that does not require the services of a skilled technician, he won't hesitate to correct the problem himself. If there are requests for CCTV footage that have come in overnight, he can be relied upon to remove the disk from the bus, place it in the safe, and then reload the CCTV system ready for the next driver. He is also happy to lighten the pressure on engineering staff by taking buses for chassis cleans to an off-site location. If he has time to spare before finishing work at 11.30am, he even lends a hand to the controllers, if they need help.

In the opinion of the judges, Ricky is a true Unsung Hero. He fulfills a traditionally hidden and unsung job which is nonetheless essential to the reliability of services throughout the day. When he does his job correctly, no one notices, but everyone notices if he gets it wrong and services run late. His flexibility and effectiveness make him a very worthy Gold Winner.

UKBA Special Commendation for Outstanding Service, Darren Jackson - Abellio London

As Driving Standards Manager at Abellio London And Surrey's Beddington garage, Darren Jackson is responsible for all aspects of driving. Since taking on the role, Darren has successfully led a major turnaround in the KPIs he's responsible for. Beddington historically languished in the bottom 10 of 80 garages of the customer complaints league table. Darren has worked hard with the drivers to reduce complaints, and in April, Beddington was eighth across London - a big turnaround. Mystery travelling scores is another area where Beddington has struggled, usually achieving scores worse than network average. However results have started to improve thanks to Darren's proactive campaign in educating drivers on what it is that mystery travellers are looking for, and getting our sampling the product himself to measure how the drivers are performing. He's also managed to reduce collisions by 33%. He is described by his employer as "a true diamond".

The judges noted that Darren has clearly done a lot of work behind the scenes with drivers, making marked improvements in the KPIs. He is safe pair of hands and works pro-actively to make things better for drivers and the customer.

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

Finalist, Katie Wagstaff - Stagecoach London

Katie Wagstaff joined Stagecoach London's management team at Leyton garage, a busy city centre depot with 370 driver and 135 vehicles carrying over two million passengers every month. After a brief overview of the key departments and roles, she quickly adapted to the intensity of the role, having spent her previous year on the Stagecoach Graduate Programme in Portsmouth and Worthing. Katie quickly got to know the drivers and took direct ownership of the new entrants and probationers, overseeing their progress and development. She has provided a fresh perspective on the operation and helped achieve a good set of year end performance figures. Katie will tackle any challenge set and is confident in dealing with people at all levels, showing flexibility and never shying away from dealing with a problem or challenging behaviour.

Group Travel World

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