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Sunderland Depot Nominated for UK Bus Award 2015

16 Oct 2015

Sunderland Bus Depot Scores Double Nomination in National Bus Awards

Local bus operator Stagecoach North East has been recognised for its excellence after being shortlisted in two categories in the industry’s top national awards.

The bus company is celebrating making the finals of the UK Bus Awards after it received nominations for its Sunderland operations for Top National Depot, and Young Manager of the Year for Laura Smith, Operations Manager.

The depot at Sunderland, where the head office for Stagecoach North East is based, has been shortlisted in recognition of its quality and first class standards of operation. In order to reach the finals, Stagecoach North East was required to meet the highest levels, including performance across a wide range of criteria such as engineering standards, punctuality, staff turnover, customer satisfaction, driver quality and pass rates.

In addition to its commitment to maintaining and improving operational standards, the depot has demonstrated its contributions to local and global environment initiatives with its Eco Driver and Green Week programmes. The Sunderland staff have also developed a real sense of team spirit with popular events like Green Santa, working within the community to fundraise for local and national charity initiatives such as charity calendars and the national Movember campaign; and actively embracing customer service schemes including Catch the Bus Week and National Customer Service Week.

As a finalist, Operations Manager Laura has successfully demonstrated her management and operational skills, as well as her commitment to the team. Joining the transport company in 2009 as part of the Graduate Training Programme, Leeds-born Laura, aged 29, was previously Operations Manager for Stagecoach in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, and joined the Sunderland depot in September 2014. 

Responsible for the operation of 89 buses with a team of 203 drivers around the Wearside area, as well as building relationships with the local community and businesses, Laura’s role involves the smooth running of the bus services across Sunderland on a daily basis and proactively leading the team to improve the quality of the services in the area. 

Helen Martin, Marketing Manager for Stagecoach North East, and Laura Smith were delighted to attend the finalist announcement at The Transport Museum in Wythall, Worcestershire. 

Helen said: “The Sunderland depot is proud to provide 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, dressing up or taking off their clothes, all with the aim of raising money for local charities, and this is a great reward for all their efforts at work and in the wider community.”

“Laura Smith is responsible for operations at a busy city depot within a demanding and highly competitive environment in north east England. She approaches challenges in a calm and considered way, leading a team of over 200 staff, and has quietly and efficiently made operational improvements, demonstrating that you don’t need to be ‘flashy’ to be a star performer, so we are delighted that she has been nominated.”

Phil Medlicott, Managing Director for Stagecoach North East, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive these nominations for the Sunderland depot, which is great recognition for all the hard work that our employees put in every day. This is a fantastic achievement for the company and for Laura, and a real boost for the team at the depot. We are looking forward to finding out the results on the day of the awards and wish all the other nominees the best of luck.”

The awards will be presented by a special guest at a prestigious awards ceremony at The Ballroom on London’s South Bank, hosted by Jane Hill from BBC News.

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

About the UK Bus Awards:

• The current awards scheme was introduced in 1996. It was designed to develop further the Bus Good Practice Awards, which had been set up by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities in 1991. Initially called the Bus Industry Awards, the scheme was rebranded as the UK Bus Awards in 2005, the tenth year of its existence.
• The scheme is operated and financed by an independent not-for-dividend company, the Bus Industry Awards Ltd, a subsidiary of Transport Events Group, an organisation established especially by the UK Bus Awards team to organise and run events on behalf of the public transport industry.
• As well as UK Bus Awards, the group is also responsible for the UK Coach Awards.
• The then transport minister Rosie Winterton launches the 2008 AwardsBIA Limited delegates the organisation of the Scheme to the UK Bus Awards Management Committee, which comprises representatives of bus operators, local authorities, the trade press, the Campaign for Better Transport, the Chartered Institute of Transport and Bus Users UK.
• The committee and the company are chaired by Tony Depledge OBE, formerly president of the industry trade association the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, and sometime managing director of Blackpool Transport.  He succeeded John Owen OBE, retired managing director of Thamesdown Transport (2004-2014) and Barry Moore, previously Managing Director of Ipswich Buses Ltd (1996-2004).