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08 Sep 2016

· Christopher Ball Memorial Awards scheme held as a tribute to former employee
· Macduff named best depot for eco-driving performance
· System helps achieve improvement in fuel efficiency across UK bus operations

Stagecoach’s UK Bus eco-driving champions have been recognised through an awards scheme held in tribute to a former employee.

Christopher Ball, Stagecoach Ecodriver Project Manager, sadly passed away in 2014. 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, an awards scheme in his memory was introduced last year and now the company has awarded the 2016 winners. 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. 

Stagecoach North Scotland’s Macduff depot won the top depot award, based on the overall performance of all drivers based at the depot over the past year. Fifty drivers are based at the depot in Aberdeenshire operating a fleet of 27 buses locally on various routes between Elgin and Aberdeen. 

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: “This is the second year of these awards, which are a fitting tribute to the hard work Christopher put in to introduce this eco-driving technology at our bus companies. 

“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 Macduff depot who have displayed excellent eco-driving skills over a consistent period of time and thoroughly deserve their award.”

Christopher Ball’s father John was once again involved in presenting the award. He added: “I would like to congratulate all staff at the depot for winning this award. It is good to know that Christopher's hard work is being continued and he would have been delighted that the GreenRoad system is helping to deliver such high standards of driving across Stagecoach."

Andy Cozens, GreenRoad Global Director of Sales for Bus and Coach Solutions, commented: “Stagecoach has always achieved the very highest driving standards within our extensive passenger transport business. This is in no small way a testament to the dedication and passion that was always displayed by Christopher Ball during the roll out and early years of the EcoDriver project. I know he would have been very proud of the tremendous results achieved by this year’s winners.” 

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

More than 4,600 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 1,700 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 almost half of the 9,253 drivers globally who met the Fleet Elite standard in 2015 and some 24% of Stagecoach’s 19,000-strong driving team achieved the prestigious benchmark. 

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.