The competition will feature new community award and a special prize for 2012 Games

Competition for the 2012 UK Bus Awards was launched in March at the The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s inaugural Bus and Coach Forum Lecture. Closing date for nominations for each of the 21 categories will be June 8.

The competition will feature new awards for the Bus and the Community, and a new Local Authority Bus Project of the Year Award. There will be a special one-off award for Transport Heroes of the 2012 Games – whilst an existing award will be named to honour the late Peter Huntley, who helped to found the scheme in 1995.

The new Bus and the Community Award is designed to recognise and reward depots, smaller teams or individuals who work together to help place the bus at the heart of their local communities through charitable work, the giving of time to good causes or other initiatives.

The Local Authority Bus Project of the Year Award is designed for authorities working, either separately or in partnership with operators and other stakeholders, to deliver projects that can improve local bus services. Designed with the help of ATCO (Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers), the award will target schemes that lever in additional funds through government initiatives such as the Green Bus funds or the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. It replaces the Transport Authority of the Year award.

UK Bus Awards chairman John Owen explained that the changes had been made following consultation with stakeholders over the winter. “Companies all round the country tell us how work on community and charitable projects helps to cement teamwork within depots and improve cohesion in the workplace. It was suggested that an award would be a great way of recognising all the hard work that goes on – and we agreed.”

Of the new local authority award, Owen said: “Even in these times of austerity, officers throughout local government are working hard on schemes that can win funding from government and make a real difference to customers out there on the ground. We felt that such projects deserved to be highlighted and rewarded.”

The special award for the Transport Heroes of the 2012 Games will be supported by the Luke Rees-Pulley Charitable Trust, and is designed for any person working for a bus and/or coach operator in any capacity in the planning, organisation, management or operation of bus and coach transport services for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Transport is vital to the success of the Games,” said Owen, “and its delivery will involve an enormous amount of hard work by thousands of people during the summer.”

One of the many projects that the late Peter Huntley was involved in during his career in the bus industry was the foundation of the UK Bus Awards in 1995, and the management committee was unanimous in agreeing to commemorate his work by naming an award his honour.

“We chose the Making Buses a Better Choice Award that we launched last year as the one which best summed up the breadth of his influence and interests,” commented Owen.

Other favourite categories are retained, continuing to reflect the scheme’s emphasis on the customer experience, and the people who keep the industry on the road – whether managers, engineers or front-line staff.

The popular operator categories will also be the focus of hot competition once more – and companies awarded the prizes for Top Shire, Top Independent and Top City operator will go head-to-head with each other to compete for the grand prix award, UK Bus Operator of the Year.

The new competition will build on another record-breaking year in 2011, which saw over 250 entries and more than 670 attendees at the presentation ceremony.

Full details of the categories and criteria, and entry forms, can be found at ukbusawards.org.uk

 

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport. Click here to subscribe.