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Stagecoach named best large bus operator in Britain

02 Oct 2015

  • Stagecoach South West named Large Bus Operator of the Year at 2015 Route One Awards

Transport operator Stagecoach has been named the best large bus operator in Britain.

The company’s operation in the south-west of England was named Large Bus Operator of the Year at the 2015 Route One Operator Excellence Awards in Birmingham.

It is the second consecutive year that a Stagecoach company has been awarded the Large Operator of the Year title after Stagecoach Midlands won the same accolade last year.

Stagecoach had several other shortlisted finalists at this year’s event including Stagecoach Manchester Managing Director Christopher Bowles and Stagecoach East Midlands Manager Michelle Hargreaves who were both shortlisted for the Manager of the Year (Large Operator) Award. In addition, John Hill from Stagecoach London was a finalist in the Engineer of the Year (Small/Medium Operator) category and previous winner Dave Heptinstall from Stagecoach Midlands was shortlisted for the Engineer of the Year (Large Operator) Award.

Stagecoach South West provides local bus services across Exeter, East Devon, Torbay, Plymouth, South Devon, North Devon and into Cornwall and Somerset. For financial year 2014-15 it had 995 employees, a fleet of around 300 buses and undertook over 30 million passenger journeys. The company’s buses covered over 16 million miles a year across 136 routes.

Judges at the awards praised the company’s growth over the last 12 months, saying: “Competition in this category is more intensive than ever, proving that examples of excellence in the UK bus industry are widespread. Indeed there is a fine line between the winner and the other five finalists and it all boils down to important measures of passenger growth and passenger satisfaction, which our winner recognises is best achieved through being in tune with the market.”

In July this year, new Stagecoach South West Managing Director Bob Dennison took up his post to replace previous Managing Director Mike Watson who is now Managing Director of Stagecoach South following two years in the south west.

Over the last 12 months Stagecoach South West has seen a 5% increase in passenger numbers, achieved through service enhancements, network development and local authority contract gains. It has also invested £2.2m in new vehicles for customers and has a focus on strong partnership working with stakeholders across the region.

Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West said: “This award is testament to the hard work of our employees across the south west who are a credit to our company and who deliver good quality, reliable and affordable bus travel every day for thousands of people who rely on bus services.

“It’s fantastic to win such a high-profile industry award and we look forward to building on our achievements so far at Stagecoach South West to provide even better services for our customers.”

At the 2014 Route One Awards, Stagecoach Midlands was named Large Bus Operator of the Year while Dave Heptinstall from Stagecoach Midlands won the Engineer of the Year (Large Operator) title.

For further information on Stagecoach UK Bus visit


For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email: [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach Group is an international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, mainland Europe, the United States and Canada. Stagecoach carries around 3 million passengers a day across its transport businesses. The Group employs around 39,000 people, and operates around 13,000 buses, coaches, trains and trams.
Stagecoach is one of the UK's biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,500 buses and coaches. The Group’s business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge. Low-cost coach service,, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK and continental Europe.
Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has also partnered with Virgin to run the East Coast and West Coast inter-city rail franchises.
Stagecoach operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,400 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, contracted, charter, airport shuttle and sightseeing services.