Overcoming Adversity 2013

UK Bus Awards 2013 - Special Award for Overcoming Adversity

Western Greyhound

Every bus manager's worst nightmare - fire in the depotFor only the third time in its history, the UK Bus Awards Management Committee wants to recognise and reward a project that is not an entry but which, nevertheless, exemplifies excellence in the UK bus industry.

In the early hours of 13 May 2013, bus operator Western Greyhound suffered a devastating fire at its Summercourt depot, near Newquay. Thirty-five vehicles, one-third of its fleet, were destroyed. Clearly a disaster for the company, but Western Greyhound did not want to let down its customers.

Not only were undamaged buses being sent out into service even before the fire was out, but the company wanted to get back to providing a full service to the people of Cornwall as soon as possible. Company owner Mark Howarth put out an appeal to any bus operator that might be able to help by lending a spare vehicle. And how the industry responded!

Buses came from as far afield as Blackpool, Nottingham and Norfolk – and the company’s competitors in the West Country helped with special ticket arrangements for passengers who would otherwise have been inconvenienced.

Unfit for service - 35 vehicles were destroyed in the blazeWe all recognise the need for competition in our industry, but there can be few better examples of competitors and other companies pulling together to help one operator through such a devastating experience - and, most importantly, enable it to deliver effectively a normal service to its customers within just a couple of days.

The Management Committee decided to make this special award for overcoming adversity to Western Greyhound, but also to all in the industry who helped in the achievement of resuming normal services so quickly.