Environment Award sponsored by Volvo Bus
Winner, Gold Award, Electrification of Park and Ride Services - Nottingham City Council
At the end of January this year, Nottingham City Council's (NCC) Park & Ride services were electrified with the introduction of long-range battery electric buses, replacing the diesel vehicles which previously operated the routes. This was the latest phase of the Council's Electric Bus Project and involved the purchasing and deployment of 13 long-range electric buses for its Ecolink and Centrelink Park & Ride services, using funding from the Green Bus Fund and NCC's Workplace Parking Levy. A base to charge and house the vehicles was constructed at the Queen's Drive Park & Ride site, funded by grants from European REMOurban and OLEV. After only a few months, results show significant reductions in carbon emissions and other pollutants. Furthermore, cost savings on fuel and servicing has enabled the Council to fully maintain it's contracted bus network, while the zero emission technology supports the aspirations for a local improvement in air quality standards and a Clean Air Zone in the city centre by 2020.
The judges were very impressed with what is believed to be the largest electric bus operation outside London. They also noted that this was partly funded by what is thought to be the only local authority work place perking levy in the UK. These pioneering approaches pushed the entry ahead of the others making it a joint Gold Winner in this category.
Leadership & Inspiration Award
Winner, Bronze Award, Anthony Carver-Smith - Nottingham City Transport
"You'll struggle to find a more committed, hard-working, 'eats, sleeps, breathes NCT' person than Anthony Carver-Smith," says his employer Nottingham City Transport. Fascinated by buses as a child, Anthony turned his spare time passion into his full time career when he came to the attention of NCT's management team while still a student. NCT was under an often harsh media spotlight during 2001's big service change, but the company noticed someone regularly defending them very eloquently and factually correct online and in the 'readers' letters' section of the local press. This was Anthony. His loyalty to the company and passengers has been steadfast ever since. Often 'forced' to take holidays, never without his mobile running NCT's social media, 'Mr NCT' as he's affectionately known, plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth-running of NCT's buses.
The judges commented that Anthony is clearly someone who loves his job and is very dedicated. He is a skilled communicator and has been innovative with social media at Nottingham City Transport.
Making Buses a Better Choice: the Peter Huntley Memorial Award sponsored by Heathrow Airport
Winner, Bronze Award, Improving out of town employment sites in partnership with Liftshare - Stagecoach Midlands
Stagecoach Midlands developed an opportunity to run bus services around the start and end of shifts at an out of town employment site, which, it realised, fitted nicely around its school services. Distribution/warehouse sites typically have relatively low paid staff, many of whom do not own cars. Often these centres want to expand, but have have exhausted their local labour market and need to bring staff in from a wider catchment area, but have no more space for staff parking. After an introduction by Warkwickshire County Council, Stagecoach Midlands began working with Liftshare, which was already established with many large employers, and both saw that buses and sharing cars were complementary and together presented a strong agreement when visiting new employers. Stagecoach Midlands has now expanded services across a number of sites in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire and in all cases put on extra journeys, increased bus capacity and expanded days and times of operation.
Proving that buses are a very good option for out of town employment sites, the judges were very impressed with Stagecoach West Midlands' innovative scheme. They liked the comprehensive approach and partnership with Liftshare, commenting that this demonstrates a good source of new passengers as trips to high streets decline.
Putting Passengers First sponsored by Euro Bus Expo 2018
Winner, Gold Award, Robin Hood Network Smart Ticketing - Nottingham City Council
The Robin Hood Network provides a comprehensive suite of multi-operator, multi-modal tickets and smart cards for travel across Greater Nottingham for adults, students and juniors. The latest development is the Robin Hood Pay As You Go travel card which is the first fully-integrated, capped-fare, multi-modal, ITSO, smart ticketing system in the UK, differing from London due to the need to accommodate the deregulated environment and operators' own tickets. The Robin Hood Network is a partnership between public transport operators in Greater Nottingham, including bus, tram and rail operators; in fact 13 different partners have come together to deliver the scheme. In the first 15 months, 10,000 passengers are travelling more because the PAYG card makes it easier and 38% of users now use more than one transport operator for the same reason. Half of users have switched from paper tickets and 2.5% of users have switched from their cars to public transport due to the new ticketing scheme.
The judges commented that this was a big project to deliver and were pleased to see bus operators and agencies working together and producing genuine multi-operator pricing, making it a worthy Gold Winner.
Unsung Heroes Award sponsored by Backhouse Jones
Winner, Gold Award, Chris Plummer - trentbarton
Since starting as trentbarton's roadside officer in 2006, Chris Plummer has been dedicated to ensuring each of trentbarton, and sister operators Kinchbus, Notts&Derby and TM Travel's, every bus stop has easy to understand and up to date information about services. That's more than 6,000 pieces of roadside infrastructure. Whilst software will produce the timetable for each given bus stop, Chris ensures that it is correct and is easy to understand from that particular location, making changes as necessary. He also ensures that the information is visually appealing and matches the brand detail with what is on the buses. He's even persuaded a local authority to paint its bust stop poles in the company colours where the stop is exclusively served by services from his company. Back at the depots, Chris fine tunes the fonts and logos on the buses' LED destination blinds to match the company branding, making it clearer for customers. He's also been known to paint the railings at a bus station to maintain the brand image. Chris is a safe pair of hands and ensures accuracy in everything he undertakes.
Chris is the man that looks after the bus stops for trentbarton and its sister companies, and who the judges described as the classic unsung hero working an area that receives very little attention, and yet which is so important to customers. With more than 10 years in this role, Chris has shown dedication and ability.