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.
Metrobus registered a commercial network in Crawley in 2001 after the previous operator in the town declared its network unviable. The last eleven years have seen unprecedented growth, including the introduction of the highly-praised ‘Fastway’ service. The depot now operates services in large parts of West Sussex, Surrey and Kent, with an enviable reputation for quality, investment and customer service.The most recent safety audit of the depot yielded a score of 97%, the highest in the Go-Ahead Group to date.
The judges were extremely impressed by the way Metrobus, having decided to operate commercial services in a town in which previous operators had been unable to maintain a profitable network, have developed a high quality, sustainable operation. They felt that the company’s commitment to service monitoring, customer information, rewarding staff excellence, energy conservation an safety all provide lessons from which the industry can learn.
The Runner up
Transdev Burnley & Pendle, Burnley
Burnley depot is committed to serving its community with the highest quality of service and performance on a daily basis. The passion of the management and staff to make bus travel the transport of choice rather than a necessity, achieved in partnership with the key stakeholders and by playing a strong part in the community. This is also supported by impressive key performance indicators including well under 0.2% in lost mileage, a GPS-derived punctuality rate (based on checking 83% of journeys) of only just under 94%, and a 100% pass rate for its VOSA annual tests. Amongst other creditable features of the depot’s operation, the judges were greatly impressed by very high levels of reliability and punctuality – confirmed by the mystery travellers’ experience - and the strong commitment to staff training, mentoring and welfare, as well as the depot’s desire to be seen as a key part of the community.
Arriva North West, Speke
In May 2012, marking the culmination of two years planning and work and an investment of £3.9million, Speke garage officially opened as a modern 21st century bus depot. The improvements have turned the depot (which first opened its doors in 1957) into a shining light, a beacon for Arriva and the wider bus industry. With the depot having to remain operational for its 146 buses and 450 staff throughout its redevelopment, Speke has developed a real identity, with staff working strongly as a team in challenging circumstances to ensure that services continued to run during the new build.
Amongst a number of aspects of the new depot’s operation that the judges felt were impressive, they noted especially how the depot redevelopment had brought staff together and engendered a new spirit of support and co-operation, leading to improved service delivery – a classic example of how a new bus depot can have a positive effect way beyond the bricks and mortar.
First West Yorkshire, Huddersfield
First’s Old Fieldhouse Lane Depot in Huddersfield is an excellent example of how a middle-sized bus depot operating both large town and rural services can improve its operational standards through hard work and team spirit, as well as fulfilling its responsibilities to a geographically large community. Lost mileage reduced by nearly 40%, punctuality improved from 89.1% to 94.1%, a reduction of 20% in public complaints and a VOSA annual pass rate that has now reached 99.1% all testify strongly to the efforts of the depot management and staff in seeking to deliver the best quality of service to all their customers.
Whilst a number of aspects of the depot’s operation are still ‘work in progress’, the judges were tremendously impressed at how the emphasis being placed on getting the basics right has had, and is continuing to have, a very creditable impact on improving the depot’s key performance indicators and thus fulfilling its responsibilities to the local community.
Who can 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 welcome 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.