Four-strong judging panel, including previous winner, will decide winner
of the 2021 Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year, sponsored by CitySwift

Richard Sherratt: Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year 2020

The winner of last year’s inaugural Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year Award is among the judges for the 2021 prize.

Trentbarton’s Richard Sherratt, who was named as the first ever Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year last November, joins a four-strong panel of judges.

The award was launched by Passenger Transport and CitySwift, the specialist data engine that uses AI to improve bus network reliability and efficiency, to boost recognition of schedulers and their important role.

The award is a tribute to Joe Wood, a widely respected young bus manager who died in 2019. Joe had worked in scheduling roles at Go-Ahead, Stagecoach and Reading Buses before joining CitySwift’s fast-expanding team. He posthumously received the President’s Award at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s Annual Awards for Excellence.

Joining Sherratt on the judging panel are Blackpool Transport managing director Jane Cole (who is also president of the Confederation of Passenger Transport), Go North East managing director Martijn Gilbert and Andrew Garnett, deputy editor of Passenger Transport.

After winning the prize last year, Sherratt said: “It’s nice to be recognised as the industry does not always appreciate the work that goes into getting the services ready and the bus to the bus stop.”

Sherratt, who has been in the industry for over 40 years after joining straight from school, said that 2020 had been very different from a scheduling point of view as a result of the pandemic.

The art of being a good scheduler is to go unnoticed. Like any job the trick is making the hard things look easy

“We had to cope with changes seemingly every week early in the first lockdown,” he said. “But it’s just one of those challenges; the work has to be done. The art of being a good scheduler is to go unnoticed. Like any job the trick is making the hard things look easy.”

The 2021 Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year competition was launched last month, providing a further opportunity to raise awareness of the work that is done by schedulers and celebrate leaders in the field.

Commenting on the judges, CitySwift COO Alan Farrelly said: “We are very pleased to have brought together such an expert panel of judges. They know and understand what being a good scheduler is all about. They also understand the vital – but often unseen – role that these individuals play within companies. They can be the difference between success and failure.”

He continued: “We are also delighted that Richard has agreed to help judge the awards. He was a very worthy winner in 2020 and we think it’s great to have someone who is doing the job – and excelling at it – on the panel.”

Join us in Galway!

Nominations are now open for The Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year Award 2021 and the deadline for entries is October 8. Details of how to apply can be found in the adjacent column.

Finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Galway, Ireland, for the award ceremony in November.


It’s quick and easy! You can CLICK HERE. Alternatively, read the following instructions and email us…

Entries should be submitted in the following format:

A. Case study of a new schedule (max 100 words)
1. How did the scheduler approach the project?
2. How did they increase reliability and efficiency (and by how much)?

B. Innovation in scheduling (max 100 words)
1. How does the scheduler’s methodology differ from standard scheduling practices?
2. How do they combine ‘traditional’ scheduling skills and knowledge with ‘modern’ technology and data?

C. The Covid experience (max 100 words)
1. How did the scheduler adapt their schedules during lockdown to allow for reduced patronage, reduced congestion, social distancing and the travel needs of healthcare and key workers?
2. What changes are they making to ensure aschedules fit new travel patterns and changes in passenger demand as we emerge from the pandemic?

D. Contribution to the wider business (max 100 words)
1. What impact does the scheduler have on the wider business?
2. Are they capable of mentoring and training the next generation of schedulers?

E. Why does the scheduler deserve to be Scheduler of the Year? (max 50 words)
1. Why does the scheduler deserve to be Scheduler of the Year?


Email your entries to – no later than October 8.

For enquiries, email the same address or call 020 3950 8000.

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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