This category is presented annually to 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, the ‘Unsung Hero’ will be someone who demonstrates the importance of ensuring that the services are delivered for the passenger and for the local community.
Gold Award Winner
Chris Icely, Stagecoach Manchester
Chris Icely joined the bus industry as a conductor 1978 and is now Service Performance Manager at Stagecoach Manchester. Working alongside the company's five depot operations, he leads on highway, crime and security matters with local authorities and Transport for Greater Manchester and on the road regulation and supervision, revenue protection and driver training. Wherever Chris goes, he constructively gets involved, reports on and follows up every single issue and always offers a solution, guidance and his personal help. Due to retire in August 2014, Chris' sustained contribution over many years impressed the judges who said he was exactly the sort of candidate they had in mind when they introduced the Unsung Heroes category.
UK Bus Awards Commendations for Outstanding Service
Brian Reeves, Abellio London & Surrey
When Brian became Driving Standards Manager (DSM) at Battersea Depot in May 2012, collisions were at an all-time high and investigations and action such as training or disciplinaries were in need of consistency. Now Abellio's most passionate DSM, Brian has worked around the clock to bring about a 42% reduction in collisions in Battersea, using various proactive techniques to educate drivers and improve standards. His H2O challenge to drive an obstacle course around the depot with a full glass of water on the dashboard and not spill a drop engaged colleagues and he rewards drivers who, for example, achieve commendations or top driving scores with a certificate and cash voucher. The judges agreed Brian has made a significant contribution in a short amount of time. Brian has now left the company unfortunately, and was unable to join us at the Ceremony because he was convalescing after a recent illness. We wish him well for the future.
Shayne Howarth, Stagecoach Yorkshire
Since starting his career after school with a small operator in a supervisory role, Shayne joined Stagecoach in 2004 and has worked his way up through the group's staff development programme. Having played a key role in the company's Barnsley network review of May 2007, where overall service satisfaction levels rose by 24% to 77%, Shayne has been Assistant Operations Manager at Chesterfield depot since 2011, overseeing the day-to-day operation of the business. Shayne never settles for second-best and pushes those around him to challenge, question and work towards offering the best service provision possible and the judges praised Shayne as an innovator when it comes to administration.
Andrew Wright & Neale Murphy, First UK Bus (North Region)
Andrew and Neale, with collective experience of 40 years, work tirelessly behind the scenes in First's North region to ensure that, day or night, every on-bus ticket machine is updated and working correctly - Andrew for Greater Manchester and Neale for Yorkshire. Brought together in 2011, they worked beyond the call of duty to ensure the roll-out of new smart-enabled ticket machines across 2,500 vehicles at 16 depots was a success. Andrew recently led the ticket machine changeover following the acquisition of Finglands seamlessly overnight while Neale, with just 6-weeks lead time, co-ordinated a range of activities to ensure ticket machines at York Park & Ride were replaced with a new system on time. Andrew and Neale impressed the judges with both their complementary skills as a team and their key roles in their own right.
Who could be nominated?
Any person working for a bus operator or local transport authority continuously for the last twelve months, who can show service in a management and/or supervisory role of more than five years.
… and by whom?
Senior managers in both operating companies and local authorities were asked to nominate people within their own organisation or with another operator or local transport authority who, in their view, qualified for this recognition.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The award is made on the basis of the quality of the submissions made, which needed to set out:
- The nominee’s length of service
- The nature and extent of their current responsibilities
- The consistency of the nominee’s record of achievement
- The sustainability of the entrant’s contribution.