Just desserts

The Troxy in London staged a lunch to remember, with the UK Bus Awards for operators, drivers and suppliers the main course. And for starters, it dished up a great networking event

The UK Bus Awards 2019 produced its usual clutch of industry heroes and winners, with Nottingham City Transport taking top honours at the London final as this year’s Bus Operator of the Year.

The only independent bus awards, the event saw Ensignbus named Top Independent operator, NCT Top City Operator and Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire Top Shire Operator. Top National Bus Driver was NCT’s own Jatinder Kumar.

Mark Yexley, Chairman of the UK Bus Awards, said: “A massive congratulations to Nottingham City Transport. To win five awards, including Top National Driver and Bus Operator of the Year, is an outstanding achievement.

“The judges were really impressed with the investment the business is making in its fleet and infrastructure. The company has seen fleet emissions fall by 90% and 8000 tonnes of CO2 and 70 tonnes of NOx emissions were avoided in the last 12 months. They also commended the company’s substantial investment in gas buses and its achievement in encouraging and attracting more young people on to its services.”

During the evening, the packed audience heard BBC newscaster Jane Hill tell stories of bus drivers who had gone the extra mile in their community, including stories of heroism and kindness which, said Jane, some drivers had modestly said were what anyone would do in the circumstances.

Newly crowned Top National Bus Driver, Jatinder Kumar, is described by Nottingham City Transport as ‘one of the most compassionate and caring people you could ever meet.’ Jatinder grew up in a rural Indian village, he moved to the UK so he could pay for his sisters’ education, and putting other people first comes second nature to him. A recent mystery traveller assessment read: “He is a perfectionist, doing his job to the maximum with no fuss and a pleasure to travel with. A fantastic asset to the company.”

Stagecoach group, Britain’s biggest bus operator, picked up a total of 13 awards – four gold, five silver and four bronze. The gold win meant that Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire went on to contest the overall Bus Operator of the Year 2019 category, where it came away runner-up to Nottingham City Transport.

Jack Abbott, Stagecoach Manchester’s Fleet Engineer, was crowned the Young Manager of the Year, as well as being awarded silver for Engineer of the Year. Jack, who is based at the Middleton depot in Manchester, was recognised for his hard work in motivating and inspiring colleagues to create a high-performance team.

Stagecoach East Scotland’s Blairgowrie depot took gold in the Top National Depot accolade, while Stagecoach Yorkshire and partners claimed the top prize in the Marketing Initiative of the Year for their project to stimulate bus use by senior citizens.

Stagecoach Chief Operating Officer Mark Threapleton said: “We have a fantastic team of committed people who are proud to serve their customers and local communities.

“I’m delighted they’ve been recognised for their industry-leading service, operational excellence, and innovation, as well as their hard work to promote more sustainable travel.”

  • Just click on the main image above to see ALL the winners

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