2019 Top National Bus Depot

Top National Bus Depot sponsored by sponsored by Personal Group

Winner, Gold Award, Blairgowrie – Stagecoach East Scotland

The Stagecoach bus depot in Blairgowrie operates with a fleet of 24 vehicles, operating regular commuter journeys to Perth and Dundee as well as local town routes and other vital rural bus links. The strong staff base have a commitment to providing quality bus services for the community, staff morale is high and this professionalism is shown in the positive performance of the depot. Reliability and punctuality statistics for Blairgowrie are excellent and the procedures for monitoring services and communicating any disruptions ensure that customers are kept informed on the rare occasion that services are not running as planned. The development of a strong community spirit and team structure within Blairgowrie means that the employees are an integral part of the community they live, socialise and work in, committing to charity and community events and taking pride in their roles.

A depot with a real family feel that reaches out to its community, was how the judges described Blairgowrie. They also commented on the depot’s impressive KPIs and that not a single member of staff has left, other than for retirement.

Winner, Silver Award, Reading – Reading Buses

This year we’ve maintained attention on improving punctuality and reliability. Our ‘back to basics’ approach has really paid off. By focussing on operational standards we’ve made the depot better, safer and more efficient, while combining it with technology and innovation to make customers happier. Overall customer satisfaction has risen to sixth in England at 94% – a great result! Combining our special blend of colourful buses and amazing people, we’ve cared for customers and the community, encouraged ‘Team Reading Buses’ to show team spirit, trained our employees better than ever while staying safe and healthy in the process. The depot has pulled together as one big team to deliver our legendary ‘unrelenting customer focus’ to helping us buck the trend in the transport industry for customer growth. Over the past four years, we’ve seen astounding growth on our core Reading routes, with 26% more customer journeys, at 20.3 million per year in 2018. Most importantly this figure is not just growth by acquisition – it’s like-for-like underlying growth. Now that’s a tangible benefit of operational improvement!

The judges noted that, alongside its excellent staff and customer relations, there has been a re-focus on the core operation, borne out by the experiences of our mystery travellers.

Winner, Bronze Award, Swindon – Go South Coast – Swindon’s Bus Company

Since acquiring former municipal Thamesdown Transport, Go South Coast has applied its successful formula. We have repositioned a perceived outdated, uncaring bus operator into a vibrant forward-thinking modern bus company that people are proud to work for and enjoy travelling with. Our latest results from the Transport Focus survey are all a significant increase on the prior year, with overall satisfaction climbing from 78% to 93%. That’s a massive 15% increase in one year. It’s been a whirlwind of a journey, from a name change and rebranding exercise to embracing technology, building relationships within the community and nurturing and improving employee moral by involving them in decisions and improving training standards.

The judges were impressed with the turnaround at this depot from a municipal to PLC bringing numerous benefits to passengers and noting the much improved staff turnover.

Finalist, Crawley – Metrobus

Metrobus’ Crawley depot runs a comprehensive local bus network in Sussex, Surrey and Kent. Four of our routes run 24 hours a day. At Crawley depot we have never sat still and believe we can always do better. To do this staff at all levels make the decisions required for the high quality service we operate. We have embraced new technologies and new ways of doing things. Trialling electric buses, introducing news apps and tap on/tap off contactless payments. LEAN management is now firmly embedded in the depot transforming attitudes and processes. Through innovation and investment in our services, fleet and infrastructure we have more than doubled the number of local bus users since 2001. This has taken millions of car journeys off local roads. We are part of the fabric of the local community. We relish this but know we’re not just about running buses. We focus on supporting local community events and initiatives. Our purpose is to be accessible, efficient and sustainable so that our passengers can have a safe, comfortable service they can depend on without a second thought. In short, we work to make using the bus the positive choice.

Finalist, St Andrews – Stagecoach East Scotland

Stagecoach’s St Andrews bus depot operates with a fleet of 28 vehicles and is the base for high frequency Taylink99 services to Dundee along with town routes and other rural services. With excellent reliability statistics, the depot’s efficient operations are a testament to the professionalism of the strong staff base and high levels of morale at the site. The St Andrews team make a valid contribution to the local community by committing to consistent levels of services. The depot communicate any variations to this as much as possible via effective social media channels, website and via friendly staff at St Andrews bus station.

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