Examples of good practice highlighted by professional body at its annual awards
Newport Transport and it’s Managing Director Scott Pearson went away in celebratory fashion after winning prizes at the recent Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Cymru Wales National Transport Awards. Bus-related winners included fellow operators, local authorities and professionals.
Crowned the 2014 Welsh Transport Professional of the Year, judges remarked that Scott has “worked hard to transform Newport Transport into a most effective operation, introducing the innovative student bus smartcard, improving the age profile of the bus fleet, embracing green policies and involving staff and passengers in decisions on service changes.
“The business has successfully diversified but still retains its core value – delivering great customer service.”
Runner-up was Simon Finnie, Head of Operations at Arriva Buses Wales’ Bangor (Llandygai) depot. Judges recognised his heavy involvement in many initiatives introduced by the firm, including the Cymru Coastliner and Sapphire brands – in addition to training courses for staff and management. “His enthusiasm for these projects has ensured their successful delivery,” they added.
Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services for the Vale of Glamorgan Council was also commended in this category. Newport Transport won the Excellence in Passenger Transport Operations Award, with judges commending how a “clear focus on customer engagement and investment to meet customer expectations has led to increased growth in customers and provision of services. Innovative partnership working with local employers and improved services for young people has demonstrated that this company are putting customers at the heart of what they do.”
The runners-up award went to the Vale of Glamorgan Council (VOGC) for its part in creating the new 303/304 Bridgend – Llantwit Major – Barry – Cardiff service.
Judges remarked: “Understanding where people want to go, alongside a joinedup approach with other public transport services has seen the delivery of improved services and a more than doubling in the number of passengers.
“High levels of customer satisfaction have helped promote this new service, ensuring a sound platform for future growth.”
VOGC also picked up the Travel Demand Management Award for routes 303/304. Judges said: “Reduced financial resources typically leads to a reduction in provision. However, a strategic view of the need to link bus and rail services along routes used for work and college led to the ability to provide a new, expanded service with higher levels of customer satisfaction, more than doubling the number of passengers.
This win highlights the multipartnership effort lead by this council to significantly improve a public transport corridor which has seen growth in patronage during a difficult time for funding bus services in Wales.”
In July 2013, VOGC was faced with the withdrawal of EST Coaches’ commercially-operated X45 between Llantwit Major and Barry, at the same time Cardiff Bus partly withdrew the X91 between Llantwit Major and Cardiff. Unable to reinstate the service like-forlike on a supported basis, VOGC had to consider its options in how this important group of services could be reinstated with limited financial resources.
After a tender process, VOGC negotiated with New Adventure Travel (NAT) to replace the lost X45, the supported 145 Llantwit Major to Bridgend; the 95 evenings service and X5 Sunday Llantwit Major to Cardiff routes. NAT also agreed to operate the X45 element on a commercial basis, albeit, pulling all the services together and offering a more dynamic regional and sustainable service.
The runners-up for this award also went to VOGC for its Greenlinks Community Transport G1 service for the villages in the rural areas of Cowbridge which lost completely ‘The Village Bus’ network which ceased operating in 2013. Judges commented: “The development of a community demand-led bus service has increased the use of public transport in rural areas, doubling the number of users and providing high levels of customer satisfaction.”
Traveline Cymru won the Excellence in Improving Customers’ Experiences Award for ‘Our Fares Journey’ project to add fares to its existing timetable information. Judges commended the organisation for “tackling a complex and challenging project.” “The project is a leader in its field and throws down the gauntlet to other information providers,” they added.
The runners-up award went to Arriva Buses Wales for its Sapphire route 1 Wrexham Chester, which was described as “A well delivered example of a tailored investment to enhance a specific route. The elements demonstrated the benefit of coordinated investment and marketing set against clear targets and measures”. VOGC was further commended for developing the 303/304 routes.
The Transport or Logistics Policy Planning and Implementation Award went to the Pontypridd to Cardiff bus priority package, which was implemented following a co-ordinated approach involving two councils – Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf – and three bus operators – Stagecoach, NAT and Edwards Coaches.
Judges commended it for being “a well executed, appraised project in which the trail from policy to delivery can easily be traced, with clear measures, honestly appraised with an understanding of the need for further review. It’s a good example of a project with widespread application.”
The runners-up award went to the Caerphilly County Borough Council for Transforming Policy into Passengers – Sewta Park & Ride Strategy.