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Stagecoach recognises eco-driving champions

01 Jul 2015

  • Christopher Ball Memorial Awards scheme held as a tribute to former employee
  • Stagecoach Oxfordshire recognised as top company according to GreenRoad system
  • Merseyside driver Dave Birch wins individual driver award
  • Hartlepool named best depot for eco-driving performance
  • Technology helps achieve improvement in fuel efficiency across UK bus operations

Stagecoach’s UK Bus division has rewarded its employees for their high standards of eco-driving, with an awards scheme held in tribute to a former employee.

Christopher Ball, Stagecoach Ecodriver Project Manager, sadly passed away last year. Christopher had worked tirelessly to roll out the GreenRoad eco-driving technology to Stagecoach’s bus companies across the UK and was a respected and well-liked employee.

As a tribute to Christopher, The Christopher Ball Memorial Award has been awarded to the best performing company in Stagecoach UK Bus, with glass bowls also presented to the best depot and best driver.

Overall winner of the award was Stagecoach Oxfordshire for its employees’ consistently strong eco-driving performance over the past year.

Hartlepool depot won the top depot award, while Stagecoach Merseyside driver Dave Birch, from Birkenhead depot, was named top driver for the past 12 months.

The GreenRoad system is installed on all Stagecoach vehicles at the Group's bus companies. Using a traffic-light LED system on the dashboard, the system gives drivers instant feedback on their driving manoeuvres, encouraging smoother, safer, and more fuel-efficient driving.

To date, use of GreenRoad’s system and Stagecoach’s comprehensive driver training programme has helped deliver an improvement in fuel efficiency and reduction in CO2 emissions across Stagecoach operations in the UK.

Stagecoach UK Bus Regional Director Robert Andrew said: “Along with GreenRoad, we wanted to find a fitting tribute to Christopher and, as he was the driving force behind the introduction of this eco-driving technology at our bus companies, we felt this was an appropriate way to remember him and pay tribute to his hard work.

“Smoother, fuel-efficient driving is safer, provides more comfortable journeys for our customers and helps cut our carbon footprint. I would like to congratulate our winners who have displayed excellent eco-driving skills over a consistent period of time and thoroughly deserve their awards.”

Christopher Ball’s father John was involved in presenting the awards. He added: “Christopher cared deeply about his job and it's lovely to know he is still in the company's thoughts. He was delighted with the backing that Stagecoach gave him and it was very important to him to be involved in this project even during his illness. Our family would like to express sincere thanks to Stagecoach for the way they supported Christopher during his illness, particularly Robert Andrew.

“It's very nice to hear all of the lovely things that his colleagues at Stagecoach and at GreenRoad have said about him and, along with the rest of my family, I would like to congratulate the winners of these awards."

Andy Cozens, GreenRoad Global Director of Sales for Bus and Coach Solutions, commented: “The Christopher Ball Memorial Award is a tremendous way to pay homage to a man who was so passionate about improving driver behaviour within Stagecoach.  In fact, in all my years working in the transport industry, I have never come across anyone with such enthusiasm.

“I and my colleagues worked closely with Christopher to help deliver the right solution.  Through his almost unique ability to be both equally liked and respected by everyone, he has left a true legacy – a solution which has over the past year paid Stagecoach tremendous dividends in terms of fuel savings, driver safety and performance.

“Our warmest congratulations to the winners who not only set a real example for others to follow but of whom Christopher would have been proud.”

It was revealed earlier this year that Stagecoach bus employees topped a global eco-driver performance scheme which measures fuel-efficient driving.

More than 4,100 Stagecoach drivers were awarded Fleet Elite status under the programme managed by GreenRoad, whose telematics system serves professional drivers in the UK, Ireland, Europe, the Middle East, America, Australia and New Zealand.

Over 1,000 of Stagecoach’s Fleet Elite drivers have achieved the Gold badge for consistently maintaining the Fleet Elite driving standard for three consecutive years.Stagecoach drivers account for more than half of the 7900 drivers across 10 countries who met the Fleet Elite standard in 2014.

Some 21% of Stagecoach’s 19,000-strong driving team achieved the prestigious benchmark – more than any other bus company using the GreenRoad system.

Fleet Elite standard drivers must clock up more than 500 driving hours in a year and achieve an average of five or less events, such as harsh braking or acceleration, per 10 hours of driving over the calendar year. In fact, 57 Stagecoach drivers scored zero – a perfect score – during the period.

Further information about Stagecoach UK Bus can be found at