Nottingham’s public transport came top in two categories at the UK Bus Awards 2017 at a ceremony yesterday in London’s East End. The Awards recognised the city’s move towards environmentally friendly technology and the ongoing commitment to integrated ticketing and improved customer service.
Putting Passengers First Award
The Robin Hood Smartcard, managed by Nottingham City Council in partnership with local transport operators, NCT, NET and Nottingham Community Transport came top of this category, recognising excellent customer service and innovation in improving passengers’ experiences. The card makes it easier for citizens to travel on bus, tram and rail operators in the Nottingham Area. Nearly 38,000 cards have been sold since the scheme launched in 2015 and research has shown this has led to increase in public transport usage around the city.
The Environment Award
(joint winner with Go-Ahead London) – Nottingham’s electric park and ride services Ecolink and Centrelink, in partnership with Nottingham Community Transport, were recognised for the efforts made to improve the green credentials of bus services, and also improvements to the overall environment in the communities where they operate. Since the new fleet of buses were launched in January this year results show significant reductions in carbon emissions and other pollutants. Cost savings on fuel and servicing has enabled the Council to fully maintain its contracted bus network, while the zero emission technology supports the aspirations for a local improvement in air quality standards and a Clean Air Zone in the city centre by 2020.
Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Local Transport, said: “It’s been no small task coordinating ticketing for tram, rail and bus travel across the city. We are delighted to win the Putting Passengers First award as it recognises the work done by the partnership of Nottingham City Council and the local operators in delivering excellent customer service for citizens.”
“As for the Environment Award, Nottingham was the first city in the country to offer all-electric Park & Ride services. The electric buses are a key part of our ambition to improve air quality in the city so it’s fantastic to see this commitment to greener technology recognised.”
Note to Editors
Notes to editors: • The UK Bus Awards has been recognising, rewarding and inspiring the bus industry for over 20 years. • The awards recognise excellence from across the industry from individual achievements, through to projects that deliver innovation and a first-class customer experience. • The awards are independently judged by expert panels featuring over 40 people from a variety of backgrounds, including consumer groups, academics, former managers and industry analysts. • Nottingham City Council was also nominated for the two other categories. The Robin Hood Network shortlisted in the Making Buses a better choice category, which was won by Transport for London, and the Marketing Initiative of the Year which was won by First West. • Background to the electric bus project. On 30 January this year Nottingham City Council Park and Ride services were electrified with the introduction of long-range battery electric buses, replacing the diesel vehicles which previously operated the routes. A base to charge and house the vehicles was constructed at the Queen's Drive Park and Ride Site. This was funded using a combination of grants from European REMOurban and the Office of Low Emission Vehicles.