South of England

Top National Bus Depot sponsored by Personal Group

Members of the team at Eastleigh depot.Winner, Gold Award, Eastleigh - Go South Coast (Bluestar)

Go South Coast brand Bluestar operates the Eastleigh depot in Hampshire. As well as local bus services, the depot also operates some coach services for National Express and has recently been award the company's Gold Award for the way it cleans and maintains the coaches. A new bus wash uses less water and utilises rainwater collected form the depot roof. Waste collected from vehicles such as cans and newspapers is now being recycled. Staff facilities have been vastly improved with newly refurbished rest rooms and facilities at the depot including free wifi. All staff are paid above the living wage and are given opportunities to train and develop their skills, as well as other benefits such as free bus travel. The Star of the Month scheme leads into the Employee of the Year finale with a top prize of ú3 000 and two weeks additional holiday.

The judges were impressed with the high levels of employee engagement, citing numerous staff initiatives including apprenticeship schemes, at this depot which has resulted in a very good operation for its customers.

Unsung Heroes Award sponsored by Backhouse Jones

Jeff Stubbs, who works for Go South Coast's Bluestar operation.UKBA Special Commendation for Outstanding Service, Jeff Stubbs - Go South Coast (Bluestar)

'Jeff-in-the-Box' is probably one of the best known members of the Bluestar team. Southampton Travel Adviser Jeff Stubbs acquired this nickname when he used to spend his days working in the so-called Bluestar Box - a small blue cube-shaped portable building which served as the company's travel office before it opened a shop. The name stuck and Jeff is as happy to assist new drivers understand the various ticket products as he is members of the public who want timetable and ticketing information. Part of Jeff's weekly routine is to send all the sales figures for the shop to the accounts department. When the shop is busy, he often doesn't have time to do this in his working day and will take this home to complete so he can send the data off in time. Jeff has become the campany's go-to person to proof check new fare guides and make sure all the correct details have been included. He will again quite often check this in his own time. He is one of the longest serving staff at Bluestar, and is always there with a friendly and positive attitude.

The judges said that Jeff has provided an invaluable service to passengers over many years. They noted that he is very customer orientated and were pleased to see his talents being recognised.

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