Sponsored by TfL London Buses
For the London Bus Garage of the Year Award, monitoring data on those garages operating over a million miles a year is evaluated and the top garages are shortlisted by virtue of their performance. Those garages then submit their own assessment of their operating achievements and the judges must assess which has provided the highest quality bus services to London’s diverse communities. Integral to this award is a cash prize to benefit staff facilities at the winning garage site.
"The London Buses awards are designed to reward the operating and engineering staff who, by taking exceptional pride in their work, ‘go the extra mile’ in keeping London’s buses running. The awards give true recognition to their achievement by the announcement of the winners in the presence of so many key players in the bus industry.”
David Brown, Managing Director for Surface Transport, Transport for London.
Winner: Brixton, Arriva London
Brixton’s Driver Quality Monitoring results and overall operational performance were extremely impressive. Considerable effort is also put into maintaining staff morale through family-friendly, socially inclusive, flexible and part-time working arrangements. Communication with staff is enhanced by ‘open forums’ and performance figures are displayed on plasma screens
There is a strong emphasis on high-quality training of all staff including ‘Handling Difficult People and Situations’ and there is an active sports and social club with many activities for staff and their families which helps the team spirit. Brixton garage is highly rlocally and is working with Lambeth NHS Primary Care Trust to promote healthier lifestyles throughout the community.
Runner-Up: Twickenham, NCP Challenger
The runner up is NCP Challenger’s Twickenham Garage, not least because its Driver Quality Monitoring results were second only to Brixton’s. Twickenham follows NCP Services’ strong emphasis on training, with a balance of on- and off-job skills activities. Social activities are well-supported, a reward system for good performance using Argos points is appreciated and flexible working arrangements all help ensure a happy working environment. From a standing start in 2005 NCP Challenger and Twickenham garage have done well to establish a high-performing and stable team.
Putney, London General
With a variety of high and low-frequency services in inner city and urban environments that its multi-ethnic work force must tackle, Putney’s philosophy is focused on ‘Delivery’ and ‘Safety’ around the clock. The garage’s induction, training and mentor programmes are clearly effective, as are the team meetings and community ‘bridge building’ initiatives with schools. The staff take pride in their work as demonstrated by the interest shown in the annual safe driving awards event, the long service dinner and the local Luke Rees-Pulley memorial award for ‘Driver of the Year’. Social activities include parties for children of staff as well as the adults and regular trips and functions for all.
Bow, East London Bus & Coach Company
Bow garage is a consistent top performer in TfL’s quality audit surveys. Shortly to celebrate its 100th birthday with a community open day, Bow has created a team-oriented environment with a strong ‘family’ ethos. A women’s project with Hackney Community Transport and TfL has helped to increase the number of female drivers to 31. Flexible working has helped improve driver retention, all staff undertake appropriate BTEC, customer skills or NVQ training and the garage was nominated for TfL’s Natalia Muir Equality and Diversity Award.
Waterden Road, East London Bus & Coach Company
Opened in 2004 to house the ‘bendy buses’ fro route 25, Waterden Road also operates the heritage Routemaster service on route 15. There is a strong community spirit and the management have an ‘open door’ policy encouraging staff to discuss any issues freely. The sickness rate is below 3%. An LCD staff communication screen displays information including health & safety, passenger commendations, staff notices and garage news. The staff are enthusiastic about the friendly atmosphere, ‘like an extended family’.