What’s new for the 2021 competition

31 August 2020

We’ve consulted with judges, entrants and other stakeholders and made the following changes for the 2021 competition:

  • All entry forms are now online.
  • There is a new category: Diversity. This is intended to recognise particular efforts to promote diversity in all forms, such as particular efforts to attract a diversity of people into the industry, the promotion of equal opportunities, initiatives to make it obvious that a business welcomes recruitment from all, and practices designed to help a business to be part of the diverse community in which it operates. The full criteria of this new category can be found here.
  • The Sustained Marketing Excellence and Marketing Initiative of the Year categories will be rested this year and replaced with a single Marketing category. The amended criteria is available here.
  • The title of the ROSCO award has been slightly revised to better reflect the criteria of the category.
  • The ‘free flow’ entry form trialled in the last competition was liked by entrants and judges and so has been extended to more categories this year. 

A message from the UK Bus Awards

30 April 2020

After considerable discussion and consultation with our industry colleagues and friends, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the UK Bus Awards 2020 and proceed once again in 2021. It was not an easy decision to make, but one that we are sure you will understand.

Our industry has always been resilient and resourceful, and we know that this is down to the extraordinary people that work within it. Every day we are witnessing the incredible efforts our colleagues and their organisations are going to, in order to keep the country moving. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to each and every one of our industry’s key workers.

As you know the UK Bus Awards recognises and rewards outstanding achievements, and at this time this has never been more poignant. We are certain that the Awards in November 2021 will be a remarkable celebration of how our industry, and our people, came together to successfully keep the country moving in its time of need.

We will keep you posted on any news and updates, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021.


20 November 2019

Nottingham City Transport driver Jatinder Kumar was crowned ‘Top National Bus Driver 2019’ yesterday at the UK Bus Awards in London, and Gurnam Singh from Swindon, Stagecoach West took the bronze.

Until the award ceremony yesterday it was not known that Jatinder and Gurnam are both originally from Nanda Chaur in the north of India, a village with a population of just 3,500.  They fought off competition from tens of thousands of bus drivers nationwide to take the top titles.

On winning Jatinder said: “When you’re nominated the dream has started. I never thought about that. I was a really normal person, struggling for a job. It’s something I never thought about. Now it’s a dream!”

He added: “Until I was at the award ceremony in London and I spoke to Gurnam we had no idea that we were from the same village, it was such a surprise.”

The Top National Bus Driver award is highly contested and is sponsored by Volvo Bus, it recognises outstanding achievements in delivering exceptional customer service as well as driving safely and considerately.

Superstar bus driver Jatinder Kumar is described by his employer as: “One of the most compassionate and caring people you could ever meet.’ He moved to the UK so he could pay for his sisters’ education, putting other people first comes second nature to him.”

Former Milkman Gurnam Singh, has recorded a staggering 56 customer commendations in his first two years of being a bus driver. He is described as being ‘a true role model for exemplary customer service, safe and smooth driving and he is professional in all aspects of his work.’  

Silver went to Keith Thomas, a Swansea grandfather and driver at First Cymru, who, from personal experience, is a passionate advocate for raising awareness about hidden disabilities.

Mark Yexley, Chairman of the UK Bus Awards, said: “Huge congratulations to Jatinder, what a fabulous achievement! Congratulations to Keith and Gurnam too, they have also done tremendously well. We were astonished to learn that Jatinder and Gurnam were from the same village in India, they must have some of the best bus drivers going!”


20 November 2019

Nottingham City Transport is celebrating having won five of the top gongs at the 2019 UK Bus Awards in London today, including the highly contested ‘best in show’ category, UK Bus Operator of the Year and Top National Bus Driver.

Jatinder Kumar took the Top National Bus Driver title sponsored by Volvo Bus, this is the third consecutive year a bus driver from Nottingham City Transport has won the gold. The company’s Managing Director Mark Fowles was presented with the Services to the Bus Industry honour sponsored by Buses Magazine, and Sheila Swift won the Unsung Hero accolade sponsored by Backhouse Jones, recognising her 37 years of dedicated service at the company.

The team also took the gold in the Top City Operator category sponsored by INIT Innovations, which saw them through to the grand final where they went on to win the Bus Operator of the Year, sponsored by Gallagher & QBE Insurance.

Stagecoach UK Bus is also celebrating having won a breath-taking thirteen awards. The company’s outstanding performance saw them take home four golds, five silver and four bronze.

Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire won the gold in the Top Shire Operator title, closely followed by colleagues at Stagecoach East Scotland who claimed the silver in the same category. The gold win saw Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire go on to contest the Bus Operator of the Year 2019, they triumphantly came away with the silver.

Stagecoach Manchester’s Fleet Engineer Jack Abbott was crowned the Young Manager of the Year, as well as being awarded the silver in his quest for Engineer of the Year. Jack is based at the Middleton Depot in Manchester, he has worked hard to motivate and inspire to create a high-performance team.


Translink also put in a stellar performance which saw them take gold in the Making Buses a Better Choice: the Peter Huntley Memorial Award, sponsored by Heathrow, and Damian Bannon, Belfast Area Manager at Translink was crowned Leader of the Year, sponsored by Euro Bus Expo 2020.

The flagship Belfast Rapid Transit Glider system was launched in September 2018 and is now playing a key role in the sustainable growth of Belfast.

The company also took silver in the Bus and the Community award, and two bronze accolades, one in the Rosco Innovation in Safety category, and the other went to Paul Slaney in his quest for the Engineer of the Year title.

Oxford Bus Company also had some great successes, the team took the top gold award in the Bus and the Community category sponsored by CBW, silver in both the Making Buses a Better Choice, and the Cultural Change category, and bronze in the Top Shire Operator, sponsored by Ticketer.

The gold went to the company’s ‘Brand the Bus!’ initiative which provides local charities and other good causes with an opportunity to promote themselves by branding one of its buses.

Mark Yexley, Chairman for the UK Bus Awards, said: “This year has seen some tremendous performances from companies and organisations up and down the country. We’re honoured to be able to recognise excellence and innovations within the industry. All those celebrating today should feel proud that they have played their part in helping to deliver a first-class experience for passengers across the UK. From everyone at the UK Bus Awards we would like to say a huge congratulations to everyone involved.”


20 July 2019

The UK Bus Awards is set to continue with its new shortlist announcement format following a wave of positive feedback from across the industry.

For the first time last year the prestigious award scheme moved away from its finalist announcement event, and instead showcased the eagerly awaited shortlists via its social media channels. The move was welcomed by industry colleagues, and the team is ‘delighted to announce’ that the new format is set to stay.

Innovations have been at the top of the agenda for the UK Bus Awards team. 2019 has seen it continue to develop new judging panels, trial new ways to enter, and introduce new categories to reflect the changing face of the industry.

Mark Yexley, Chair of the UK Bus Awards, said: “We were encouraged by the way everyone embraced the ‘Big Reveal’ last year, and we’re delighted to announce that the same format will be back in 2019.

He added: “This year the esteemed judging panel of industry leaders will be joined by some new faces bringing further expertise in marketing, people engagement and human resources.  The new Cultural Change category has received a substantial number of entries for a first-time award; which really demonstrates the focus the industry has on developing these winning cultures that help businesses deliver results.”

“There will be further changes in 2020 too, a special year for us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary.”

The judging has just begun and will continue into September. The shortlist announcement – ‘Made it’ will take place on 9 and 10 October. During September an itinerary will be published detailing the time that each category shortlist can be expected.


20 November 2018

The UK Bus Awards 2018 recognised and rewarded the very best people, projects and innovations from across the industry this year. Twenty gold, silver and bronze awards were presented, as well as two awards for services to the industry.

For the second year running bus company Go South Coast was crowned UK Bus Operator of the Year, sponsored by Gallagher and QBE Insurance. It underwent extensive scrutiny from the judging panel; including mystery travellers who tried and tested services across the network. The company demonstrated consistently excellent customer service and outstanding service delivery.

Aaron Johnson from Nottingham City Transport was named the UK’s Top National Bus Driver, sponsored by Volvo. He was commended for showing compassion and truly taking care of his customers; as well as always being there to help, especially with young and vulnerable passengers. The judges described Aaron as outstanding, citing his excellent customer care, impeccable time keeping, flexibility and years of safe driving. ‘A brilliant demonstration of a driver that goes above and beyond’.

Mark Yexley, Chairman for the UK Bus Awards, said: “All our 2018 winners represent the quality and excellence that leads our industry. It’s a great honour to be able to recognise and reward such inspiring achievements. We would like to congratulate every winner, and their outstanding efforts in making the industry what it is today.”