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Winners celebate on stage at last week’s UK Bus Awards in London

Go South Coast was named UK Bus Operator of the Year at this week’s UK Bus Awards in London. The Go-Ahead Group-owned company was also named the winner of the Gold Award in the Top Shire Operator category before fending off competition from Brighton and Hove Buses and Norfolk-based operator Saunders Coaches to win the top gong in the Grand-Prix competition that pits the winners of the Top City, Top Shire and Top Independent Operator Awards against one another.

More than 700 people attended the presentation ceremony, which took place at Troxy, London, on November 27. It was another rewarding afternoon for Stagecoach and its subsidiary companies. Britain’s biggest bus operator once again topped the medal table with a total of 16 Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. The Perth-based group was the gold winner in six of the event’s 23 categories:

  • Bus and the Community (Behind the Bus, Stagecoach East);
  • Buses for Leisure (Lake District services, Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire);
  • London Bus Garage of the Year (Lea Interchange,Stagecoach London);
  • Manager of the Year (Dawn Murphy, Stagecoach Yorkshire);
  • Top National Bus Depot (Middleton, Stagecoach Manchester);
  • Young Manager of the Year (Richard Greaves, Stagecoach Manchester).

Stagecoach was also the joint Gold winner of the Partnership for Excellence: The Peter Huntley Memorial Award, alongside Arriva North East, Go North East and Nexus.

Go-Ahead Group’s afternoon was marred by a protest outside the venue by Unite the Union in relation to a pay dispute at its Go North East subsidiary. However, the group went home with an impressive haul of 10 medals.


It was also a successful afternoon for Transdev Blazefield, which was Gold winner in the Enriching the Customer Experience Award for ‘de-stressing the bus’. This initiative was aimed at rebuilding passenger numbers in the wake of the pandemic, with a high quality and well-presented fleet, engaged and enthusiastic people and a proactive approach to publicity. Meanwhile, Maruisz Losinski, was Gold winner of the Top National Bus Driver Award.

This year’s award for Lifetime Contribution to the Bus Industry went to John Clarfelt, founder of Ticketer. Clarfelt’s journey to Ticketer was unusual: from qualified barrister to butcher and entrepreneur, but today the company’s ticketing technology can be found on thousands of trams, trains, ferries and hovercraft across the world, as well as thousands of buses in the UK.

Another notable winner was National Express West Midlands and Zenobe. They were Gold winners of the Environmental Innovation Award for ‘Electrification as a Service’, a UK-first which has seen Zenobe manage a full turnkey solution including new vehicles, onboard battery replacement, charging infrastructure, unique software to optimise charging, parts, and full operational support. The scheme also utilises a second life battery made from recycled bus battery cells, which stores the power from solar panels on the depot roof.

Meanwhile, fast-expanding FlixBus UK won the Going for Growth award.

In a year that has tested the resilience of our industry, the UK Bus Awards 2023 stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment and brilliance of those who keep the wheels of the bus industry turning

Expressing his admiration for this year’s cohort of winners, Alan Millar, chair of the UK Bus Awards, said: “In a year that has tested the resilience of our industry, the UK Bus Awards 2023 stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment and brilliance of those who keep the wheels of the bus industry turning.

“The dedication, innovation, and community spirit reaffirm the pivotal role of the bus in connecting people and communities. From seasoned players to new entrants, we’ve celebrated their successes, innovations, and contributions. Congratulations to all involved!”

Big book of big winners

Full details of all Gold, Silver and Bronze winners can be found in The Big Book of Big Winners 2023, the official UK Bus Awards souvenir brochure. This publication is produced for the UK Bus Awards by Passenger Transport and will be distributed with the next issue of Passenger Transport, as well as future editions of BUSES and Coach and Bus Week – and on passengertransport.co.uk.

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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