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 judges were delighted with the increase in the number of entries, and improved quality. They were especially impressed by the year-on-year improvement in key performance indicators for a number of the entries which made the final decision quite a difficult one.
2013 Winner: Crawley – Metrobus
Metrobus registered a commercial network in Crawley in 2001 when the existing operator declared that its current operations in the town were unviable. The last twelve years have seen unprecedented growth in the operation, including the introduction of the highly-praised and award-winning ‘Fastway’ service, and the number of passengers.
The depot now operates services throughout West Sussex, Surrey and Kent, with an enviable reputation for quality, investment and customer service, the latter evidenced by its strong commitment to social media. The judges noted the high levels of reliability, punctuality and other key performance indicators.
Runner Up: Blyth – Arriva North East
Blyth depot prides itself on providing a reliable and punctual service to its customers. It was said that, because it has such a consistent record, it does not always receive the recognition that it deserves even though members of staff did figure strongly in the company’s MAD (Make A Difference) awards. The judges were impressed with the year-on-year improvement in punctuality as well as the reduction in complaints and staff sickness. The 100% pass rate for VOSA annual tests was also noteworthy. Local community and charity initiatives are also part and parcel of a depot where staff seem to be well motivated, evidenced by the recent rise in employee satisfaction.
Bolton – First Manchester
Bolton depot has built on already strong foundations to show excellent performance and employee engagement over the last twelve months. The team spirit in this large depot, which runs key routes into Manchester city centre, has contributed to sustained improvement in reliability, punctuality, the pass rate for VOSA annual tests, staff sickness levels and other key performance indicators, figures for all of which impressed the judges. The judges also noted the charity and community initiatives taking place, not least the strategic partnership with the Fire Brigade and the Police to reduce the number of collisions and passenger injuries.
Hengrove – First Bristol
Bristol is said to be the most congested city in the UK and it remains a very challenging place to run buses. Despite that, Hengrove has made significant progress transforming its operation to make it more efficient, delivering better journeys for its customers. It has trialled new systems, worked more collaboratively as a team, and increased its engagement with the community. The judges noted the beneficial effect of going back to basics over aspects of service delivery and how, bringing operations and engineering closer together, a far better understanding of the way in which better services on the ground can be delivered has been achieved.
Newport – Southern Vectis
Newport depot performs consistently well across the whole range of key performance indicators, delivering a comprehensive service across the Isle of Wight with a commercial network operating 365 days per year. This consistently high service delivery has been rewarded with almost continuous patronage growth since 2005, overall passenger numbers having increased by a staggering 66% in eight years. Not only were the judges impressed by the high level of performance and passenger growth, but they liked the priority given to worthwhile community and environmental initiatives.
Southport – Arriva North Wales & West
Southport is one of six depots that make up Arriva Merseyside. A depot with a unique sunny seaside outlook, impressive contract retention, and Arriva’s Manager of the Year at the helm, investment in fleet and in staff communication has resulted in impressive customer and employee satisfaction survey results. The judges noted the focus on service delivery, reinforced by a comprehensive monthly ‘ride around’ by managers, and they liked the concept of ‘fleet champions’ to ensure that the buses look well cared for. All this helps the garage to be very proud of the service operated and the team behind it.
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.