Stagecoach in Sunderland is celebrating hitting top spot after beating strong competition to become the top national depot at the UK Bus Awards.
Local bus operator Stagecoach North East took the Gold Award in the Top National Bus Depot at a glittering ceremony at The Ballroom on London’s South Bank before an audience of over 620 industry movers and shakers.
The depot at Sunderland, where the head office for Stagecoach North East is based and which employs over 250 staff, has been recognised for its excellence, quality and first class standards of operation in the industry’s top national awards.
The judges were particularly impressed by the depot’s excellent lost mileage (0.3 per cent in 2014) and 97 percent punctuality. The panel said the depot ran reliable, friendly services with high engineering standards and good operational performance and praised the depot staff for their involvement in local community and fundraising events.
To receive the top prize, Stagecoach’s Sunderland team were required to demonstrate first class operational standards and a high level of commitment to environmental objectives, which it has achieved through programmes such as its Green Road eco-driving initiative and Green Week environmental campaigns.
The award also acknowledge the depot’s dedication to the community, team spirit and sense of fun, with regular events for local charities, schools and the wider community taking place, including growing moustaches for Movember, dressing up as Santa for Christmas collections and working with children and community groups through Green Santa competitions to promote awareness of their local environment, energy saving and recycling.
Phil Medlicott, Managing Director for Stagecoach North East, said: “We are thrilled to receive this award for the Sunderland depot, which is fantastic recognition for all the hard work that our employees put in every day. This is a great achievement for the company and a real boost for the team at the depot and they should be justly proud.
“The Sunderland depot is committed to providing a reliable and friendly service for customers, with consistently high engineering standards and impressive operational performance. Combining hard work with fun, the team is considered part of the local community, regularly taking part in sports events and dressing up to raise money for local charities, and this is a deserving reward for all their efforts at work and in the wider community.”
Congratulating all the winners, UK Bus Awards chairman Tony Depledge commented: “It’s great that the 20th year of the UK Bus Awards scheme shows yet again what can be achieved for the benefit of passengers and the communities we serve. Every year of the Scheme has reminded us that where authorities and operators align their priorities and develop schemes together, the results can inspire the whole industry for the constant improvement in service quality that our passengers deserve.
“Once again we have been able to recognise inventive marketing, innovative engineering and outstanding customer service and to reward the commitment that is shown across the industry – and it’s that recognition and reward that we believe inspires us all.”
In addition to the top honours for the Sunderland depot, Operations Manager Laura Smith was a finalist for the Young Manager of Year.
The awards were presented by special guest Jeff Halliwell, Chair of Transport Focus at a prestigious awards ceremony hosted by Jane Hill from BBC News.