Top National Bus Depot

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This award is designed to recognise and reward high standards of operation and customer care by bus depots and garages throughout the UK.

The Award is open to bus depots or garages that operate buses on local bus services outside London. For the purposes of this award, a bus garage is defined as an authorised operating base at which vehicles are both stabled overnight and maintained.

The 2015 Results

Winner, Gold Award, Sunderland - Stagecoach North East

Stagecoach North East says its Sunderland depot is "proud to be providing a reliable and friendly service for customers, with consistently high engineering standards and impressive operational performance." The depot team combine hard work with fun "the team is considered part of the local community," the company says. "They regularly take part in sports events, dressing up or taking off their clothes, all with the aim of raising money for local charities."

The judges noted excellent lost mileage figures (0.3 in 2014) and punctuality figures of 97%.

Winner, Silver Award, Crawley - Metrobus

Metrobus registered a commercial network in Crawley in 2001 when the existing operator declared that operations in the town were unviable. The last 14 years have seen unprecedented growth, investment in fleet, depot infrastructure and new technology. The company says it is now "an integral part of life in Sussex, Surrey and Kent, with an enviable reputation for quality, investment and customer service."

The judges noted that Metrobus' Crawley depot is in a challenging operating area and remains a good depot, where complaints have decreased and punctuality has risen. The judges were also encouraged to see a lot of training is being carried out in a small depot.

Winner, Bronze Award, Birkenhead - Arriva North West

Arriva Birkenhead is one of the six garages which make up Arriva Merseyside. Arriva Birkenhead to operates cross-river services through the Mersey Tunnel, connecting the Wirral to Liverpool. What Arriva Birkenhead describes as 'the Team Birkenhead ethos' is very much at the heart of everything at the depot. "The garage is very proud of the service we operate and our team who operate it," it says.

The judges found the depot to be impressive in terms of its level of investment and improvement, noting the removal of bus lanes, while keeping punctuality strong.

Finalist, Newcastle - Arriva North East

Arriva North East's Newcastle Depot is achieving record scores in employee and customer satisfaction surveys, and, says the Company, it is the keen focus on the customer that is driving these results. "The engagement levels at the depot are outstanding and they demonstrate a commendable commitment to passengers, employees and the community they serve," it adds.

The judges were impressed by the commitment and hard work shown by the depot during two closures of the Metro system - 14 days last year and a month in 2013.

Finalist, Halifax & Todmorden - First West Yorkshire

First West Yorkshire, Halifax and Todmorden says it nominated the Halifax and Todmorden depots because "of their excellent performance in increasing passenger numbers, revenue, customer satisfaction and staff morale, as well as making an investment in a new generation of vehicles."

The judges were impressed by the creativity that has gone into some of the depot's initiatives and noted the low sickness level.

Finalist, York - First York

First York reports that its York depot "has had an amazing turnaround in the last two years with a real focus from the local team who have been determined to change the reputation of the business and deliver a real improvement for our 11 million customers."

The judges noted that lost mileage has gone down and were impressed by the commitment to partnership resulting in positive improvement.

Who could be nominated?

In order to qualify to enter this award, a bus depot or garage must have an allocation of not less than 10 vehicles and operate not less than 500,000 kilometres per year on registered local bus services.

… and by whom?

We welcomed nominations from all three categories from customers, authorities, user groups or bus operators. Self-nomination is acceptable.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The award will be made to the garage which, in the opinion of the judges, delivers the highest operational standards to its customers. ntries must contain a full set of data against the following Key Performance Indicators:

  • Scheduled Annual Mileage
  • Lost Mileage, absolute and as a percentage of scheduled
  • Punctuality statistics (Number of departures operated, proportion measured and the percentage measured as “on time”, i.e. not more than one minute early and five minutes late)
  • Staff turnover (all grades, including engineering staff)
  • Annual PSV Test pass rate
  • Details of any warning or prohibition notices issued by VOSA in the previous twelve months
  • Customer Satisfaction and Mystery Traveller Survey results (if undertaken)
  • Driver Quality Monitoring Data (where undertaken)
  • Statistics regarding the volume and nature of public complaints

In addition, each entry needs to contain a submission concerning the depot/garage’s own work to:

  • maintain and improve operational standards
  • make contributions to local and global environmental objectives
  • develop and maintain a team spirit within the garage (e.g. sports and social clubs, etc)
  • play a positive role within the communities served (charity work, community involvement, sponsorship programmes, etc).

Finally, submissions should state whether or not there has been any Traffic Commissioner action in the three years prior to entry relating to the depot's operations, or whether any investigation, disciplinary hearing or known VOSA report is ongoing at the time of entry. If so, provide a full account of the matter(s).

Entries should address each of the above criteria to assist with the judging process, because non-transferable marks will be allocated for each of these criteria.

Short-listed garages will be subject to Mystery Travelling and other spot checks during the judging process. Judges reserve the right to request additional data, for audit purposes. Any such data will be subject to the strictest confidentiality arrangements.

Note that it is a condition of entry that any prize awarded should be collected by at least one member of front-line staff at the UKBA Presentation Ceremony. The winning garage will receive a cash prize which must be used to improve staff facilities at the garage.

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The UK Bus Awards scheme is organised by The Bus Industry Awards Limited
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