Services to the Bus Industry

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The Award for Services to the Bus Industry recognises a significant and sustained contribution to the success of the industry by an individual who has gone consistently beyond the call of normal duty to improve and promote the bus indistry for its users or the wider community.

Winner 2013: Barrie Etchells

Barrie Etchells, seen here addressing the UK Bus Awards presentation ceremonyThe first of this year's two winners is somebody who has used his specialist knowledge and expertise over the last 25 years to provide invaluable services to bus and coach operators across the country.

When privatisation was looming in the 1980s, a whole range of services were required by the newly incorporated and privatised bus companies, of which insurance was one of the most important. Our winner recognised this need and the opportunity it presented, founding a specialist company to work in the market 25 years ago, and going on to build a business with a turnover in excess of £55m and a staff of 80.

The Management Committee was delighted to have the opportunity to recognise the invaluable work which our nominee has done for the industry over that time, helping managers in good times and in bad with personal service and expertise in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing environment.

Barrie joined the insurance industry 54 years ago, rising by the early 1980s to head up the development and marketing divisions of a large national broker. During the process, he moved from life assurance to general insurance and became an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Chartered Insurance Broker.

He founded Belmont International 25 years ago, and remained at the head of the growing and successful firm he founded until selling the business two months ago, in preparation for  his retirement. He remains fit and active though, undertaking the immensely difficult Three Peaks challenge in May 2012 in aid of a local hospice in his home county of Kent.

Under his leadership, Belmont has been a great supporter of a wide range of industry events including sponsorship of both these and the UK Coach Awards since their foundation.

Winner 2013: Peter Newman

Peter Newman with one of his collection of preserved busesOur second winner is somebody who has spent over 56 years in the industry, as employee, entrepreneur, dealer and award-winning bus operator.

He is still active today, including  writing schedules, driving and taking customer calls six days a week. Over the years, he has helped with privatisation buyouts, developed new service concepts and been keenly involved in the preservation movement, saving numerous rarities that have been repatriated and restored.

Meanwhile, he also retains a keen interest in new vehicles and technologies as well as a potentially exciting project to able to retrofit hybrid systems into second hand vehicles. He developed the hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour concept in London as well as 24 hour tickets, electronic machines, high capacity open tops, gas powered vehicles and then of course taking the concept to other cities when double deckers were still largely a UK peculiarity.

The Management Committee was delighted to recognise somebody who has devoted his life to the industry and remains a keen supporter of it. They felt that our nominee richly deserved the award.

Peter joined the industry as an employee of Grey Green, then part of the George Ewer group,  a leading London coach operator. His involvement in city tours dates back to 1972, when he founded Ensignbus and first used the City Sightseeing name. In 1979, Ensign took a huge gamble, signing a contract with London Buses to buy all 2,000 of their unpopular and unreliable fleet of Daimler Fleetlines as they were replaced. Though some were scrapped, many were sold on for further service to other operators in the UK and overseas. 

Ensignbus developed the London Pride sightseeing business and moved into tendering for London bus services, founding what later became Capital Citybus. Following the sale of London Pride and Citybus, Peter developed City Sightseeing into a worldwide franchise brand using the distinctive red double decker buses in countries which had never seen them before.

Who can be nominated?

Individuals working in any bus-related environment and at any level of seniority.

… and by whom?

Nominations will be accepted from operators, local authorities (including Passenger Transport Executives and Transport for London), other bodies involved in the planning and provision of local bus services and other organisations working with the industry or on behalf of its users.

The Criteria:

Given the broad spread of individuals that might be nominated for this award, the UKBA Management Committee will use its discretion in considering nominations for this award and will seek the necessary verification. The following will be taken into account:

  • The level of service delivered
  • Any special circumstances
  • Consistent record of achievement
  • Sustainability of the entrant’s contributions

The TEG logoThe UK Bus Awards scheme is organised by The Bus Industry Awards Limited, a company registered in England & Wales No 3332837.

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