Environment Award sponsored by Volvo Bus
Winner, Gold Award, Electric Buses - Go-Ahead London
The need to improve air quality in the capital is immediate, not least because it contributes to the early deaths of around 10,000 Londoners a year. Spurred on by the introduction of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone for part of the capital from 2019, Transport for London and its bus company contractors are in the process of introducing Europe's largest fleet of electric buses. Go-Ahead London was TfL's partner to trial the initial e-bus technology in late 2013, which proved it could work in London's challenging operating environment. Over the last year, Go-Ahead London has delivered a fleet of 51 pure electric buses, working with the Mayor's Office and TfL, as well as UK Power Networks and Scottish Southern Electric to install sufficient electrical capacity at the Waterloo depot. This space constrained central London site, surrounded by residential and business neighbours, was converted from diesel operation to plug in electric thanks to meticulous planning and engagement with staff, neighbours, suppliers and bus industry colleagues. The new vehicles have seamlessly replaced the buses that previously served passengers on the busy inter-station Routes 507 and 521.
Once again, the scale of this scheme - the largest plug in electric bus project in Europe and possibly the world - impressed the judges, who thought that Go-Ahead London deserves credit for overcoming the many practical obstacles to covert the depot to all-electric running. They also noted that a scheme on this scale could only be delivered where there is a sufficient power supply available.
Transport for London Award for London Bus Garage of the Year sponsored by DriveTech
Winner, Gold Award, Brixton - Arriva London South
'Team Brixton' as Arriva London South describes the 400 staff at its Brixton garage, continually strives for excellence and has implemented further improvements over the past year. It ended last year without any staff lost mileage and has consistently topped the quarterly TfL Excess Waiting Time (the time passengers have to wait beyond what the timetable expects them to wait) table throughout the year. The garage has built on its mileage performance strategies to include enhanced root cause analysis to help prevent breakdowns and increase reliability. Staff engagement and morale has been strengthened with personal development initiatives for supervisors, and open forums and newsletters to keep everyone motivated towards targets. The garage has invested in new toilet and canteen facilities as well as engineering improvements including as new pits. The team also works with the local community in support of Lambeth Bus Day as well as hosting local school and Scout trips to the garage to promote bus travel across London. To reinforce high standards, the garage has implemented a hall of fame photoboard picturing managers congratulating and recognising staff achievement.
Excellent staff engagement and significant involvement in the local community were picked out by the judges. They also commented on how well Brixton garage had taken on new routes seamlessly and still managed to improve performance. Overall this garage impressed the judges above all others in London to become the Gold Winner.
Winner, Silver Award, Twickenham - Abellio London
Abbellio London's Twickenham garage is consistently a top performer, which the company puts down to empowering its managers and supervisors to bring about change. This has brought a wealth of new initiatives and generated a lot of enthusiasm for its 400 staff to become 'Team Twickenham' - a garage where new employees actively seek to work. 'Customer is King' is Abellio's mantra, which the Twickenham garage took further by running forums with groups of drivers, mixing drivers with complaints and those with commendations in each group. There was a noticeable improvement in customer service scores and Twickenham moved up the league tables. It's also has the lowest collision rate in the company and a 100% MOT pass rate. The team spirit is overwhelming at the depot with numerous staff events and competitions making it a great place to work.
A systematic approach, good internal engagement and high staff moral were all noted by the judges in what seems to be a very happy garage.
Winner, Bronze Award, Barking - Stagecoach London
Stagecoach London's Barking Garage has over 400 bus drivers and 20 engineers, but still manages to have a strong team atmosphere. Despite the loss of two routes this summer, along with many long service drivers, the remaining drivers proved their dedication and commitment to their customers by continuing to work as a team to continue to provide a good service. The depot has a mix of very new and long service drivers who are all keen to assist each other to answer questions and ensure anyone new to the garage feels confident and comfortable. Fruit is available at the counter where drivers sign on and dates and provided during Ramadan. Many schools and nurseries in the local area have visited the garage giving the opportunity for pupils to have a ride around the block to understand how to safely use the buses and a few lucky ones get to sit in the driver's cab. However, the highlight is going through the bus wash while on the bus singing "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round"!
The judges were pleased to see that Barking had embraced Hello London, and had good staff engagement and motivation initiatives that were showing results in an improving operation.
Leadership & Inspiration Award
Winner, Silver Award, Jim Small - RATP Dev London
Jim Small's performance as an exceptional leader and innovator can be summed up in his role as Operations Manager of RATP Dev London's Shepherd's Bush bus garage. A large central London garage open 24 hours a day and with a cosmopolitan workforce, addressing the inherent problems that existed at the depot when Jim arrived in November 2013 was an enormous task. Jim didn't just rise to the challenge - he blossomed in the role. As well as seeing a manager who had once been a driver himself, colleagues saw a boss who learned their names, chatted to them and took an interest in their lives. Morale began to improve, as did performance. Jim won over the workforce and engaged all members of the operating team in his vision to make Shepherd's Bush great which meant bringing together a disparate group of demotivated drivers to create 'Team Shepherd's Bush'.
Demonstrating his passion for the job, and with a good track record of success, the judges were pleased to see this recognised in his recent promotion to General Manager of the Shepherds Bush and Stamford Brook depots.
Highly Commended, Mariusz Przybylski - Abellio London
"Mariusz Przybylski is the gold standard of leaders," enthuses his employer Abellio London. He leads the company's schedules team in the vital work they do to make the business successful. Working with key internal and external stakeholders he communicates effectively while focussing on his team, their development and succession planning to deliver a top class service. Taking feedback from drivers and the performance team, as well as results on delays and early running, Mariusz translates the data into robust schedules that go on to deliver excellent reliability for Abellio London's customers. Across the business the company has nothing but praise for him, commenting that nothing fazes him and that he is all about solutions and how things can be made to work, coming up with innovative ways to tackling challenges.
The judges were pleased to see that this unsung, but very important, area of the business being recognised. They were impressed that Abellio London said that Mariusz is delivering the best schedules the company has ever had.
Making Buses a Better Choice: the Peter Huntley Memorial Award sponsored by Heathrow Airport
Winner, Gold Award, London's Bus Priority Programme - Transport for London
Transport for London's (TfL) Bus Priority Programme is investing in bus priority to deliver, quicker and more reliable journey times for bus passengers throughout London. TfL is working alongside bus operators and London Boroughs to identify locations where bus priority is most needed and can improve journey times and reliability. So far, the programme has delivered over 230 schemes in the past three years with 135 minutes of passenger time savings as well as helping to reduce the impacts to bus passengers of increased traffic congestion in London. The programme is also developing and delivering the bus network infrastructure required to support London's expanding population, which is expected to reach over 10 million in the next 20 years. Much of this population growth will take place in areas poorly served by existing public transport, such as Barking Riverside, Thamesmead and the Upper Lee Valley. TfL has been working with these London Boroughs and developers to look at potential bus network infrastructure which can be installed so that new residents choose to travel by bus rather than rely on cars from day one.
As congestion in London is increasing, making journey times longer for all vehicle users, the judges thought it was good to see the initiatives being taken by Transport for London to address bottle necks and other measures to reduce bus journey times. They also noted the work being done in areas being redeveloped for housing and business to put in bus priority measures as the road infrastructure is being built.
ROSCO Award for Innovation in Road Safety sponsored by ROSCO
Winner, Gold Award, Route risk assessment maps at Stamford Brook garage - RATP Dev UK
Overhanging trees, sudden bends, parked cars, potholes, winding roads can all make navigating a bus along a route challenging for a new driver. At RATP Dev London's Stamford Brook garage, one driver with a particular interest in road safety has addressed this problem by designing large 8ft x 2ft route risk assessment maps in which every possible hazard has been plotted. These maps are kept in the area of the garage where drivers sign on so they can study them. The maps are particularly valued by new drivers, and not only help drivers avoid minor bumps and scraps, but they also assist them in boosting their Drivewell (RATP Dev London's internal driver monitoring standards system) scores, sometimes from 'acceptable' to 'excellent'. Driver Cliff Ottley-Thistlethwaite who produced the maps is now working on a handy A4 spiral-bound route risk assessment book for each route containing a scaled-down version of the route risk assessment maps, broken down into 40 sections.
Although only two entries were received for this category, the judges were keen to say that both of them were very good, but it was the route assessment maps that took the Gold. Noting that the work had been done by a driver in his spare time, the judges were pleased to see that RATP Dev London had now picked up the idea, which the judges thought could have an application on many routes throughout the country.
Services to the Bus Industry sponsored by Buses Magazine
Winner, Gold Award, Steven Salmon - UK Bus Awards
After graduation in 1981, Steven ran his own coach business for a time and was, in the mid-1980s, the local government officer responsible for schools transport in South West Surrey for Surrey County Council. He joined the British Bus Group (now part of Arriva) and was appointed Director and General Manager of the group's Southend and Colchester subsidiaries in 1995. He joined the Confederation of Passenger Transport in July 1997 as Director of Policy Development and continues to serve in that post. He has been hugely influential in shaping the industry's response to several major pieces of legislation - as well as the day to day flow of economic, social and employment legislation which affects the industry. He is President of the International Road Transport Union's Social Affairs Commission and a Vice President of its Passenger Transport Council. He is also a member of the employers' delegations for European social dialogue in the road transport and urban transport sectors and one of the UK representatives on the EU Committee of the International Public Transport Union (UITP). In addition to his day job, Steven is a professional freelance organist and served as Choirmaster at St Mary's Church Guildford between October 1997 and June 2013. The UKBA Management Committee paid tribute to Steven's hard work and dedication to the industry for more than 30 years. In his role at CPT, he has worked tirelessly to get the industry's point of view across at domestic and international level, and has been the source of wise counsel and thoughtful analysis of the many issues which the industry faces.
Winner, Gold Award, Leon Daniels - UK Bus Awards
Leon Daniels joined the bus industry in 1984 at Engisnbus a leading operator of sightseeing and London bus services. By the end of the decade, he was running the company's tendered bus operations. These were sold to Hong Kong-based CNT Group in December 1990 and Leon became MD of the newly established Capital Citybus company. In 1995 he led a management buyout of the company, but the business was sold to FirstGroup in July 1998. Between 1998 and 2011, he held a variety of posts at FirstGroup, including Managing Director, London, and latterly Operations Director UK Bus. He also worked for the group on projects in Hong Kong and the USA and served as a director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport for six years from 2004. In April 2011, Leon joined Transport for London as Managing Director, Surface Transport. His first major task was to oversee the delivery of surface transport for the London 2012 Olympic Games, in what is now recognised as a hugely successful event. In addition to the bus network, Leon's role at TfL includes London's strategic road network, taxis, cycle hire, river services, London Overground, DLR, Emirates Air Line and Trams. In September 2017, he announced his intention to retire. In making this award, the Management Committee paid tribute to Leon's leadership and inspiration throughout his career, but particularly in the run up and during the 2012 Olympics. Despite the many challenges he has faced in some very tough jobs over the years, he has never lost his open-mindedness, slight irreverence and his sense of humour.
Top London Bus Driver sponsored by Luke Rees-Pulley Charitable Trust
Winner, Gold Award, Sabatino Barbarino - Abellio London
Tino, as Abellio London driver Sabatino Barbarino is known, is loved by his colleagues and customers. He's a regular driver on the 109 route and shows a lot of empathy with others, whether it's his customers on the bus or colleagues in the Beddington garage where he works. One of his regular passengers is a blind man, so Tino always leaves his cab and helps the man onto the bus and takes him to a seat, after making an announcement to the other passengers so that they know the bus will stop longer than usual at that stop. He consistently delivers a service that he thinks is quite normal, but it's always above and beyond what you would expect to see from a London bus driver. His many passenger commendations show this, as do the feelings of his colleagues. In a world where customer experience is so important, Tino is a star.
The judges noted that not only is Sabatino popular with his colleagues, but the very high number of public commendations he receives shows that he's popular with his customers too. He takes a family view of life and shows empathy to customers and colleagues alike, making him a worthy Gold Winner.
Winner, Silver Award, Helen Webster - Arriva London
Helen Webster's contagious smile and friendly, professional approach to the role of bus driver were clear for everyone to see and she quickly set examples for others to aspire to at Arriva London's Enfield garage. It wasn't long before Helen began receiving customer commendations, good driving observations and mystery traveller reports, a true reflection of her desire and aspirations to deliver the best service to her passengers. She regularly takes buses to local schools where she answers the pupil's questions in a very engaging manner, often reading to them and singing with them. Helen is very proud to be a bus driver and has appeared in a driver recruitment video as well as on the side of a training vehicle. Helen is one of those individuals who has that rare ability to motivate those around her with merely her smile and personality. Her colleagues value her immensely and are often heard asking her for guidance and advice, knowing she has a fantastic relationship with her passengers. She regularly goes above and beyond her usual expected duty and is forever conscientious, hardworking and considerate to her colleagues and customers.
The judges were impressed with Helen's mystery traveller scores as well as her work in schools to encourage bus use. Her contagious smile clearly sets a good example to others.
Winner, Bronze Award, Peter Whiteman - Go-Ahead London
Maintaining a 100% attendance record at work is quite an accomplishment, and Go-Ahead London driver Peter Whitemen has managed it for 27 years, something that he puts down to healthy eating and having a laugh! Peter is one of the senior drivers in the Sutton garage with an exemplary record of 27 accident free years of service. Peter started driving a bus after being made redundant from his previous job in 1989 and loved every minute of it from when he first stepped into the cab. At present Peter is on early turn rota which covers duties on three different London bus routes 151, 93 and 213. Peter is very professional and courteous towards his passengers and gives them time to be seated before pulling away from the stop and giving them a very smooth ride.
Peter's accident-free driving record and 100% attendance over 27 years really impressed the judges. Consistently good mystery traveller reports show that Peter is one of London's best bus drivers.
Specially Commended, Oliver Salbris - Go-Ahead London
Oliver Salbris had taken his bus out of Go-Ahead London's Putney garage on 5th May this year as he does every morning. But on that day, Oliver was faced with an unexpected incident. A male jogger on Putney Bridge pushed an unsuspecting female pedestrian into the path of Oliver's bus. He reacted instantly and swerved the vehicle away from the pedestrian just in time without hitting oncoming traffic. A very serious accident was avoided and the pedestrian was unharmed. Oliver has been universally commended for his attention and swift reactions in the media, but what wasn't widely reported was that Oliver stopped the bus to see to the welfare of the female pedestrian. He is a credit to the industry.
The judges considered that Oliver's actions in safely swerving to miss the lady, and then stopping safely to look after her until the emergency services arrived, made him worthy of a special commendation.
Unsung Heroes Award sponsored by Backhouse Jones
Winner, Gold Award, Chris Leonti - Arriva London
For over 40 years Chris Leonti has tirelessly maintained and managed London's buses to ensure its travelling public receives the best customer experience. Chris is the Engineering Manager at Arriva London's Tottenham garage, overseeing a fleet of 220 buses. He is renowned for his positive attitude amongst his colleagues. His self-motivation and will to succeed has made him the 'go to' man for new and experienced engineering managers, whom they lean on for advice, motivation and guidance. Chris is continually aware of the bigger picture and is often the first to offer a loan of buses from his existing fleet to assist colleagues at other garages. Chris' desire to work closely with every function within the business has seen the traditional resistance between the operating and engineering teams disappear completely. His unrivalled approach and total dedication to his role has made him a very popular member of the engineering team within the business.
The judges were impressed with the contribution that Chris has made over 40 years in the bus industry, noting his ability to break down the barriers between engineering and operations. The judges also commented on the very low lost mileage figures he has achieved in such a large depot.