This award was open to the operators, promoters or owners of street-running systems using innovative infrastructure, rolling stock or operating methods that demonstrate delivery of consistently excellent customer service.
The winning scheme is the one which, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrate how it has raised the profile and effectiveness of public transport by meeting the travel demands of the communities served.
The award was open to tramway or bus rapid transit operators, who had to demonstrate that they maintained high operational and engineering standards, gave priority to the Health and Safety of its staff and passengers through comprehensive risk management and clearly stated its financial position.
Winner: Nottingham Tram Consortium Celebrating Another Successful Year for Nottingham's Tram
Nottingham Tram Consortium's Nottingham Express Transit (NET) continues to produce industry-leading reliability and patronage figures, carrying some 30,000 passengers daily. The system continues to deliver, now comprising 14km of tramway, five 'Park & Ride' sites and full integration with other modes.
The judges were impressed by the continuing high mean performance against the contracted criteria, including reliability of 99.78% and punctuality of 99.45%. NET has quickly become a key part of Nottingham life and has been very well received by the public. The 'Park-and-Ride' sites, integration with other public transport modes and priority over/segregation from other traffic are all key features of its success. This has enabled passenger numbers to climb above 10million for the first time, and modal shift particularly is exceptional at over 30% transferring from car to tram.
Runner Up: Kent County Council Fastrack Bus Rapid Transit
Fastrack is the innovative bus rapid transit (BRT) system that will be critical to the long-term success of Kent Thameside, an area with huge development potential for up to 50,000 new jobs and 30,000 new homes over the next 20-30 years.
From the outset, Fastrack planning focussed on delivering a service that would transform perceptions of bus travel and deliver mode shift. Extensive busways and other priority measures delivering journey time reliability, together with high quality stop infrastructure and integrated, interactive information systems, mirror the customer-perceived benefits of a light rail system and have already led to significant mode shift.
Whilst the scheme is still under development, what has been achieved so far in respect of infrastructure, operation, and passenger numbers has been substantial. The first Fastrack route has attracted over 2million passengers in its first 14 months of operation against demand forecasts of 1.1million in its first year. A mode shift of 19% from car to Fastrack has been demonstrated through passenger surveys. Fastrack has shown what the bus is capable of.
Blackpool Transport Services Investing in Blackpool's Trams for the Future
Blackpool has been operating its electric trams along the coast continuously for 121 years. The tramway is an important part of the town's public transport network, and is now receiving major infrastructure investment. Blackpool Transport continues to develop new and cost-effective solutions for the delivery of environmentally-friendly, growth-oriented public transport in a harsh sea-edge environment.
Despite the old (and in many cases worn out) infrastructure, the Blackpool Tramway is an important part of the local public transport network and is now just beginning to receive major infrastructure investment. The judges were impressed by how Blackpool was continuing to come up with new ideas to grow tram and general public transport use in without the advantage of subsidy for its tramway operations from any source, or the kind of investment seen in some big cities.