North East

Engineer of the Year sponsored by Institute of Road Transport Engineers

Colin Close from Arriva North East.Winner, Bronze Award, Colin Close - Arriva North East

Described by his employer Arriva North East as Mr Sincerity, Head of Engineering Colin Close builds on his success, striving for the next opportunity, yet never blows his own trumpet. Colin manages wearing his heart on his sleeve, continuously demonstrating immense passion and enthusiasm for "right first time" within engineering and the development of his staff. He has a particular rapport and has gained the respect of his staff and peers. Colin has achieved solid continuing progress with is depots achieving two gold and five silver awards in Arriva's Group engineering standards. Under his guidance, the depots are showing a strong and stable reduction in engineering lost miles, which has improved year on year for the past 10 years.

The judges praised Colin's contribution to engineering over a number of years.

Leadership & Inspiration Award

Stephen King, who works for Gateshead-based Go North East.Winner, Gold Award, Stephen King - Go North East

Joining Go North East at 16 on a Youth Traineeship, Stephen King has led the marketing, commercial and customer services teams for several years, working his way up the ranks to become the company's first Head of Marketing before becoming Head of Commercial and Retail. With enviable team and external relationships, Stephen works across the business, affording him a rich understanding of the company and key relationships at Group and senior management level. Stephen oversees the commercial area, which comprises network design, business development, and retail and marketing communications, along with corporate and stakeholder engagement. He has introduced a number of innovations into the business including transport, and region, firsts in the areas of ticketing, technology and fares. He has a wide cross-section of responsibilities including supporting commercial targets, shaping all internal and external communications, bus branding and wider marketing and new innovations. Stephen is a well-regarded and innovative leader within the company.

Passionate, committed and a good ambassador for the bus industry are all terms used by the judges to describe Stephen King. A very well written entry showed a good track record of successful branding, innovation and sponsorship, and the judges were impressed with how Stephen has made Go North East part of the region's business community, bring benefits to the company.

The Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year sponsored by Bus & Coach Buyer

Eye-catching material used in the campaign.Winner, Silver Award, £1 flat fare for 18s and under - Go North East

Targeting an audience of students, apprentices and children under the age of 19, Go North East led a multi-faceted marketing campaign to launch an anytime, anywhere flat ú1 fare last summer. Partnerships were formed with colleges across the area and the campaign involved digital advertising, events in high footfall areas and a cinema advertisement screend across the region. Simplifying a confusing fare structure and making it cheaper for all young people to use buses, not only students, has resulted in an increase of annual sales by 65% and passenger numbers by 60%. By encouraging this audience to use the bus now, Go North East hopes that they will continue using the bus as they progress into adulthood.

Although thought to be a courageous step to reduce the fare for this age group, the judges were pleased to see that it is paying off and growing the long term market for bus travel.

Putting Passengers First sponsored by Euro Bus Expo 2018

Promoting the new cheaper tickets and the App with which to buy them.Winner, Silver Award, £1 flat fare for 18s and under - Go North East

Targeting an audience of students, apprentices and children under the age of 19, Go North East led a multi-faceted marketing campaign to launch an anytime, anywhere flat ú1 fare last summer. Partnerships were formed with colleges across the area and the campaign involved digital advertising, events in high footfall areas and a cinema advertisement screend across the region. Simplifying a confusing fare structure and making it cheaper for all young people to use buses, not only students, has resulted in an increase of annual sales by 65% and passenger numbers by 60%. By encouraging this audience to use the bus now, Go North East hopes that they will continue using the bus as they progress into adulthood.

Good passenger and revenue growth with this scheme were noted by the judges, who were also impressed that the system works without requiring young passengers to provide ID.

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