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Hartlepool bus depot wins national award for ‘green’ driving

26 Jun 2015


Staff at Stagecoach North East’s Hartlepool bus depot are celebrating after being named the best depot in the UK as part of a national eco-driving initiative.

The employees at the local bus operator were rewarded by Stagecoach UK Bus 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.

The GreenRoad system is installed on all Stagecoach vehicles. 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. 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.

With just under 50 per cent of Stagecoach bus drivers in Hartlepool achieving Fleet Elite status, the depot beat all others across the UK with a score of seven. The depot’s exceptional performance is so successful that it ranks as one of the best depots in the world for bus companies taking part in the GreenRoad scheme.

Robin Rumble, Eco Champion and Gold Standard Fleet Elite driver for Stagecoach North East’s Hartlepool depot said: “This award means an awful lot to the depot as a whole, as every driver in the depot has helped to contribute to the overall winning score, and now we know just how remarkable an achievement it is. We knew we were amongst the top five depots but were very surprised to come top! Ultimately though, it’s the customers who benefit as the overall passenger experience will be improved through good driving.”

Since the inception of GreenRoad in March 2012 many of the Stagecoach North East drivers have improved their individual scores by keeping on track using the depot computer and others use their phones to link onto the GreenRoad data to see how they are performing.

The Best Depot Award was presented to the Fleet Elite drivers and Eco Champions from the Hartlepool bus depot, with the team receiving a cut glass presentation bowl from Christopher Ball’s father, John.

John Ball said: “It's very nice to hear all of the lovely things that Christopher’s 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. This is an important project and the team at Hartlepool have all done extremely well. As a passenger, you notice the difference the eco-driving makes during the journey, and the success of GreenRoad meant a great deal to Christopher."

Phil Medlicott, Stagecoach North East Managing Director, said: “We are tremendously proud of the team at Hartlepool and this is a fantastic achievement. The drivers, supported by the Eco Champions, have taken on board the eco driving ethos and worked very hard to achieve this award. This is reflected in the amazing results and we congratulate them on the well deserved recognition.”

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.

For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit our About us page.

In the picture: Eco team 1 (L to R) - Ron Scott (Fleet Elite driver), Terry Stewart (Fleet Elite driver), Robin Rumble (Ecodriver Champion), Mick Flanagan (Fleet Elite driver), Wendy Fletcher (Fleet Elite driver), Tim I'Anson (Relief Ecodriver Champion), John Ball