In 2010, the UK Bus Awards Management Committee decided to expand its recognition of outstanding service in the bus industry by making awards to ’Unsung Heroes’.
The objective is to reward one or more individuals who perform junior or middle management roles in the industry and are known for their hard-work, loyalty and devotion to duty. In many cases, the ‘Unsung Heroes’ are those who keep the wheels turning against all the odds; no transport operator can do without such people – even though they often slave away for years with no recognition save their own satisfaction in a service delivered and a job well done, whether they work for the operator or the local transport authority. Above all, an ‘Unsung Hero’ will be someone who demonstrates the importance of ensuring that the services are delivered for the passenger and for the local community.
Winner: Keith Shayshutt
Wellglade - owners of Trent Barton
Our new Unsung Heroes Award goes this year to somebody who has worked in the industry for 39 years, and held posts all over the country before joining his current employer. There, he has played a key and influential role in the company’s widely celebrated and admired business strategy and company culture. His enthusiasm for the bus business and its customers are limitless, and in that regard he remains an important influence to his colleagues and his team.
He commits a day per month to at least a 12-hour driving duty to stay close to the product, at the coal face - and he is a shareholder in another operator with an outstanding reputation as well as with his main employer.
He lives and breathes “the bus” and his work round the clock, and in nominating him, his colleagues say that “every encounter with him produces a new idea or more motivation to better ourselves”.
A Portrait of Keith
Keith Shayshutt has spent a lifetime in the bus industry in important and influential roles, yet remains far from the limelight.
Starting his career with Eastern National in 1971, he became a successful product of the legendary National Bus Company Senior Management Training Scheme. Since then, Keith has enjoyed a variety of operational and commercial roles from Chelmsford to Cwmbran, but his most recent and current tenure at trent barton - where he is currently Head of Development on behalf of the Wellglade Group of companies - unleashed his creativity, vision, passion and never-failing enthusiasm for the benefit of a wider audience.
Though he is a seasoned busman, Keith differs from many of his contemporaries: he is not stuck in his ways, and his positivity and ambition have led him to be affectionately nicknamed “blue skies Keith” inside the company. In his current role, he leads all aspect of service planning, timetable scheduling and is a member of the business’ Project Group, which exists to generate new ideas and develop existing products. He is responsible for managing Wellglade’s portfolio of contract work, achieving maximum return and profitability. Currently, he is reviewing all aspects of the newly acquired TM Travel business to prepare it for future stability.
On a wider scale, he continues to push boundaries as to what the bus can and should achieve, and has played a key and influential role in the widely celebrated and admired Trent Barton business strategy and company culture, but has not necessarily achieved the same recognition as his leaders. His enthusiasm for the bus business and its customers are limitless, and in that regard he remains an important influence to everybody at Wellglade and indeed in the wider industry.
As a shareholder in Wellglade and the rural independent operator Norfolk Green, he commits a day per month to at least a 12-hour driving duty to stay close to the product, at the coal face. By spending a moment with him, you can see that he is not in it for the financial rewards, but for his personal enjoyment and motivation. He lives and breathes “the bus” and his work round the clock.
Commendations for Outstanding Service
In addition, the Management Committee awarded three Commendations for Outstanding Service to nominees for the Unsung Heroes awards. These were:
Tony Dallison has spent four years leading the Safer Travel strategy for National Express Group, and has worked hard with partners in the police and local authorities to deliver safer bus journeys in the West Midlands and Dundee. His role covers all elements of passenger and driver safety across the group’s bus operations.
Nic Hake has worked in the bus industry for 21 years and is currently Classroom Training Officer at Stagecoach South West based in Exeter. Nic works tirelessly to improve the quality of training. He inspires people to do the best job they can, making learning fun.
Bill Priday has spent 21 years at Stagecoach Manchester. He has two roles, as Health, Safety and Environment advisor and a route inspector. He has proved his ability to give sound advice, backed up by research and knowledge which delivers tangible benefits to everybody.
You can read more about their work for the bus industry by clicking the appropriate pages.