Transport Heroes of the 2012 Games

sponsored by the Luke Rees-Pulley Charitable Trust

Teamwork, underpinned by huge commitment and professionalism, was vital to delivering 10.8 million ticketed spectators and all the athletes and officials to events over 27 days of competition during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. This special award highlights individuals whose contribution was particularly outstanding: recognising exceptional service in the provision of bus and coach transport during the 2012 games.

The Joint Winners

Simon Green and Stephen Walker, Transport for London

Stephen Walker and Simon Green are unassuming characters who quietly got on with the mammoth task of ensuring London Buses played a pivotal part in ensuring the UK enjoyed a successful and seamless games. They met the epic challenge of making sure every element was in place before hand and that each component worked day to day under testing circumstances.

Stephen Walker's Olympics role entailed planiing the bus network to meet projected peaks in demand at key venues and transport hubs. He championed the needs of bus passengers by resisting road closures connected to venue transport plans where possible, and identifying diversions that minimised travel disruption.

Simon Green's role involved planning and coordinating thousands of bus diversions and curtailments around road closures for events as well as integrating travel information on buses with the tube services to enable passengers and spectators to select the best options for their journ'eys. As well as coordinating bus services to accommodate torch relays, Simon oversaw the successful diversion of almost every London bus route and kept disruption to a minimum.

Runner Up

Mick Coombes, First Games Transport

Mick was the Area Manager for FirstGroup's Eton Dorney operations. Unlike the operations in London, these were the only services connecting people from the railway stations and the Park & Ride sites into the rowing venue.

Mick planned and delivered the services from their inception in early 2010. The operation was the most complex for FGT with up to 180 buses in service operating from three different sites on five different routes. Changes to demand forecasting saw many late changes to service provision. Mick handled all this and provided an excellent service with his team.

There was a lot of excellent customer feedback, especially via twitter and social networking observations. Mick was TfL, LUL and the DLR for Eton Dorney!

Highly Commended

Caroline Ward, Arriva London

Arriva was awarded a number of LOCOG contracts for the Games and Caroline was the Project Director with direct responsibility for finding and training 430 drivers, 20 managers and supervisors along with 46 coaches and 71 buses for these contracts, rounded off by working 24/7 to make sure we delivered the goods.

In addition Caroline had a major part to play in two other contracts requiring a further 440 coaches, 71 buses and 1200 drivers. In all this, she was the complete leader, insisting on the careful planning which provided a great foundation for the project, never shirking problems and issues, and always insisting that people were treated well.

This culminated in two tributes. One is that Eton Dorney was rated by the IOC as having enjoyed the best transport facilities (for the athletes & rowers). The other was that none of the Arriva team wanted the Games to end, having enjoyed the deep satisfaction and excitement of being part of a real family.

Mike Wills, First Games Transport

Mike joined the team as Safety Manager for First Games Transport at the beginning of 2012. His drive and tenacity immediately installed confidence that all risks were recognised and that robust safe systems of work were planned, implemented and communicated.  A demanding task, his visualisation was essential as the majority of sites and venues only existed on paper at the time of planning.  Mike personally guided our management team, visited sites and ensured that all our areas of operation were risk assessed and that adjustments to plan were implemented in liaison with site owners and stakeholders, sometimes with only hours between completion of build and start of operation. He energetically stimulated a positive relationship with the ODA, LOCOG and their contractors to ensure safe operation.

The results were remarkable: with over one million passenger journeys, only one passenger and two staff incidents were recorded. The attention to detail in preparing drivers unfamiliar with their surroundings was also a major success, with only twenty-five minor collisions across thirty operational days and thousands of operational journeys.

Mike's input was key to the safety of FGT's operations being suitable and deliverable. Mike's personal contribution was all the more remarkable as he did it alongside his full time role as Safety Manager for First's Scottish Bus Operations. The ODA's mantra was "stay safe": through Mike's hard work FGT delivered!

Nick Ringrose, First London

Nick was depot controller for FGT at Barking depot throughout the games period.

Throughout the Olympics and Paralympics Nick worked tirelessly to deliver a smooth and efficient operation. His relentlessly cheerful personality rubbed off on the drivers,  and made the traffic office a very happy place to be. He was unflappable in crisis and dealt with all challenges calmly and professionally. Along with his two counterparts in the depot controller role, Nick was an integral part of an outstanding depot control team.

Stephen Elliott, First London

Stephen was the Company's top scoring  'DriveGreen' driver during the Games and was commended for his conscientious approach, volunteering to help and staying beyond his booked shifts in order to assist.

Stephen is a former finalist in the Top London Driver competition (2009) and winner of the title of Best London Driver at the 2009 Bus Driver of the Year competition in Blackpool

The Hayes Team, First London

The team comprised were Beata Jasinska and Marian Wudu (Counter Supervision), Anthony Connell (Yard Supervisor), Alan Emo (Buddy Driver) and Rocky Mugridge (Forward Allocator).Marian and Beata are not full time Counter Supervision staff (they are administrative staff) and Anthony is a Panel Yard Supervisor, and this was his first time in the role.

Alan Emo single handedly cab familiarised 50 drivers the day before the Olympics started and he did a further 50 throughout the Games. This played a huge part in helping ensure that we had no accidents with the First Games Transport vehicles.

Rocky had to step in and manually allocate staff and advise staff about their future duties following a glitch with the allocation computer and his hard work over three days ensured that all ran smoothly while the computer issues were resolved. First London's management received two letters highlighting the good work of our team at Hayes - one from John Murphy (a First Bradford Driver) and one from Jack Speight (Employee Director, First Greater Manchester and North West).

Who could be nominated?

Nominations were open to any person working for a bus and/or coach operator in any capacity in the planning, organisation, management or operation of bus and coach transport services for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

… and by whom?

Nominations were invited from:

  • London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG)
  • The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)
  • Transport for London
  • Managers in both operating companies and contractors

They were asked to nominate people from within their own organisation or working for another operator or local transport authority who, in their view, qualified for this recognition.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The award was being made on the basis of the quality of the submissions made, which needed to set out:

  • The nature and extent of the nominee’s involvement with transport for the Olympic and/or Paralympic Games
  • The nominee’s achievements and/or special contribution to transport for the 2012 Olympic and/or Paralympic Games
  • The direct impact on passengers (whether competitors, officials or spectators) of the nominee's actions or special service.

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