Top Express Operation
The Award for the operation of high quality express coach services.
Scheduled express coach services are an integral part of our transport system, alongside local bus services and the rail network. Services to airports, tourist attractions and for less-affluent people, including students, for example, can act to improve sustainable accessibility and reduce car travel in the same way as other forms of public transport.
The growth of competition in the market, together with the continued development of brands such as Green Line, Scottish Citylink, Megabus and National Express, shows that the express service sector is dynamic and plays an important part. The award is open to operators of services on their own account or who contract to others (e.g. National Express or Scottish Citylink).
The winner of the Express Coach Operation of the Year award will demonstrate delivery of consistently excellent customer service; the company will be sound financially, maintaining high operational and engineering standards, giving priority to the health and safety of passengers and staff through comprehensive risk management.
The Express Coach Operation of the Year demonstrates investment in fleet and operating staff, forms effective partnerships, identifies with and responds to the markets it serves and, through its quality of operation, continually strives to sustain and grow its market.
Who can be nominated?
Individual scheduled express coach services operated by single licensed operators, either on their own account or under contract to a marketing organisation.
… and by whom?
We welcome nominations from customers, authorities, user groups, bus operators or marketing organisations which contract in operators to run a service or network of services. Self-nomination was acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The short-list will be determined on the basis of the quality of the submissions, which need to:
- Provide the full range of information requested in the Key Performance Indicators section of the entry form
- Address as fully as possible the individual criteria headings on the form.
The following notes provide further guidance on the information to be provided under each of the headings:
Customer Relations and Performance: show how the operator maintains and improves customer relations. For example how it uses;
- customer satisfaction surveys
- suggestion and complaint handling procedures
- customer newsletters
Management of Stakeholder Relations and Partnerships: describe the company’s approach to the management of its relationships with local authorities and other community and local business organisations. Describe the work done on partnerships with authorities and other bodies and state how it fosters and contributes to the life of the communities it serves
Market Growth and Development: show how the operator contributes to sustaining and expanding the market for public transport in their area. This should be supported by statistics to confirm patronage and revenue trends and evidence of modal shift.
Employee Relations and Training: provide evidence of the company’s employee relations policies and any discernable outcomes, including;
- equal opportunities
- training, including CPC progress
- employee development programmes, such as advanced driver training and testing
- other initiatives and/or practices that engender staff loyalty.
Health, Safety and Risk Management: demonstrate the company’s approach to risk assessment in all its activities including;
- a commentary on Health and Safety issues for the past year, supported by reports on any significant incidents,
- showing how the company assesses the impact of its activities on staff, passengers and the general public and has monitoring and control measures to reduce risk and the level of the residual risks.
Environmental and CSR Matters: describe the operator’s approach to environmental matters and social responsibility and consequential outcomes.
Policies on diversity and accessibility: state whether there are policies for different customer groups, for example recognising disability and diversity, and/or deprived localities and specifically describe the operator’s approach to improving or promoting the accessibility of their product for people with various types of mobility difficulty.
Serious Complaints and Enforcement Action: state whether or not the company resolved any issues by reference to the Bus Appeals Body within the last three years prior to submission of this entry. If so, the issues and the outcome need to be described. Entrants should also state whether or not there has been any Traffic Commissioner action in the three years prior to entry 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.
Shortlisted entries will be assessed by ‘mystery travellers’ to monitor the standard of service delivery.