2018 UK Bus Operator of the Year

UK Bus Operator of the Year sponsored by Gallagher & QBE Insurance

This is the “grand prix” of the UK Bus Awards.

Pre-eminent amongst bus operators in the UK, the UK Bus Operator of the Year, more than any other, delivers consistently excellent customer service. The company will demonstrate its success through sustained effort over the long term.The creme-de-la-creme, the winner of the UK Bus Operator of the Year will be selected from the highest-scoring contestants of the Independent Operator, Shire Operator and City Operator awards.

The Independent Operator, Shire Operator, City Operator and UK Bus Operator of the Year Awards all use the same criteria, which are described under those categories. Separate entries were not therefore sought for this category.  There is no short-list and the winner is announced at our Presentation Ceremony every November.

In selecting the overall winner, named the UK Bus Operator of the Year, judges consider the different circumstances of operators of varying sizes and operating terrains: ‘mystery traveller’ assessments will be very important and are frequently a deciding factor.

Winner, Gold Award, – Go South Coast

As last year’s proud winner, Go South Coast has actively continued to improve and make its customers’ journeys as seamless as possible. In the last 12 months, the company has continued to develop and enhance its routes, especially where other operators have pulled out, giving customers more choice and achieving market growth, which bucks the national trend. Contactless payments and a new ticketing app have been introduced and Go South Coast has invested in new buses. The company claims to have the cheapest weekly ticket in the country. The latest addition to the Go South Coast family, Thamesdown, has seen a complete re-brand from an outdated municipal to the modern forward thinking operator of Swindon’s Bus Company.

Winner, Silver Award, – Nottingham City Transport

Nottingham City Transport celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. At a 94% Transport Focus Customer Satisfaction score, NCT carries the second most satisfied bus users in the country. Nottingham bus use per head of population remains second highest outside of London, with NCT stabilising passenger numbers against a national 2.2% decline last year. A significant ‘green’ investment has occurred, with the world’s largest fleet of biogas double deckers. A programme fitting advanced exhaust treatment systems to 185 diesels, upgrading them to Euro Vl is underway. By the end of next year, and by purchasing 67 more biogas double deckers, NCT will be running a complete Euro VI fleet through a three year delivery plan.

Winner, Bronze Award, – Ensign Bus

Essex based Ensignbus is a proud independent bus operator running a fully commercial network in one of the UK’s most congested areas suffering some of the worst congestion in the country. Passenger growth, punctuality and profit have all improved in the course of the past 12 months bucking the trend of most of the UK.