Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson MSP welcomed 450 industry professionals at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, last night, to celebrate the people and organisations that make a real difference to transport across Scotland. Hosted by broadcaster James Naughtie, the 17th annual Scottish Transport Awards once again recognised excellence, innovation and progress across all areas of transport.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

It was an honour to attend this evening's awards and to help recognise some of the often unsung heroes in the transport sector.

Tonight's nominees and winners ranged from those involved in some of our most impressive major projects to individuals on the frontline like bus drivers and rail crew who have gone above and beyond over the past year. All of them deserve credit for making a positive impact and delivering lasting behaviour change.

It's been a tremendous year and it was inspiring to meet so many of those responsible for that success. There is of course still much work to do and I look forward to working with our transport partners in the months ahead as we strive towards further enhancing our transport network and building on the progress to date."

Stagecoach East Scotland scooped the coveted Public Transport Operator award, which was given out last on the night. 2018 was an exciting year for the bus operator with an investment of £5.2m in 19 innovative low access coaches for use on parts of the Express City Connect network. Network improvements during the year also included improved connectivity to employment areas along the M8 corridor from South Fife and West Lothian and also investment in the Taylink Route. Ticketing initiatives for young people and contactless payment were also rolled out across the fleet.

Glasgow Airport walked away with three trophies on the night, including the award for Scottish Airport of the Year. Despite a challenging economic backdrop, Glasgow welcomed 9.7 million passengers in 2018 - its second-busiest year since the airport opened in 1966. Almost £20 million was invested in major infrastructure projects in 2018, including an £8 million project to introduce the HBS Standard 3 baggage security system - a first for any UK airport! The airport has also recorded a strong Airport Service Quality Score (ASQ) of 4.04 out of 5.00

Though thinking he was up for 'frontline employee', Keith Banks was honoured with a a different prize on the night – the 'Lifetime Contribution as a Frontline Employee' award (which was introduced for the first time last year, and also going to a Glasgow Airport colleague then). Salvation Army Commissioner Keith Banks is Glasgow Airport's Chaplain and has been in post since August 1st 2009; he is due to step down in the summer. Available to both staff and passengers, Keith and his team offer a listening ear, support at times of personal anxiety, stress or bereavement and respect and acceptance.

Mark Burns, a member of Amey's Trunk Road Incident Support Team, then took away the prize for 'frontline employee of the year'. Over the past 2 years, Mark has received an unprecedented four star awards from his organisation for outstanding work. Some examples of his actions since 2017 include assisting an elderly male in a confused state on the M8 who had been missing for some time; attending to a report of a distressed female on an overbridge and another where a young woman was attempting to jump off the overhead bridge.

Another special individual award was given out on the night. Nominated by the judges, the Lifetime Contribution to Transport in Scotland Award went to George Mair who announced his retirement earlier this year. Leaving behind a strong legacy of constructive dialogue, robust research and diplomacy, George has made a significant contribution to the bus sector in Scotland over his lifetime. He worked his way up through the ranks at the municipally operated Grampian buses before it was bought out by First Group in the 1980's. He went on to become managing director before moving on a decade ago to take over as the Director at CPT Scotland.

Full list of winners and commendations:-
Most Effective in Road Safety, Traffic Management and Enforcement, sponsored by FirstGroup
Scotland TranServ, Strategic Road Safety Team: Saving Lives through Innovation

Best Practice in Travel to School and Work Schemes
Western Isles Council Bikeability Scotland cycle training, supported by Cycling Scotland

Public Transport Operator of the Year
Stagecoach East Scotland

Best Bus Service
First Glasgow, Service 75

Excellence in Transport Accessibility
Glasgow Airport Ltd - Ensuring Every Passenger Enjoys Their Journey

Excellence in Walking, Public Realm & Cycling
Aberdeenshire Council, Integrated Travel Town Masterplan Project Approach

Rail/Road Contractor of the Year
Morgan Sindall, Kerse Road Bridge, Stirling

Contribution to Sustainable Transport
Dundee City Council, Dundee EV Infrastructure Project

Most Innovative Transport Project of the Year
Jacobs, Transport Scotland, Scotland TranServ & Sibbald - VR Site Safety

Excellence in Technology and Innovation, sponsored by BAM Nuttall
Liftshare, Solving commuter problems with data

Transport Team/ Partnership of the Year
Transport Scotland in partnership with Combined Operating Companies – Battling the Beast from the East

Excellence in Travel Information & Marketing
Edinburgh Trams, Airport Marketing Project

Airport of the Year
Glasgow Airport Ltd

Highly commend:
Inverness Airport

Frontline Employee of the Year
Mark Burns, Amey

Highly Commend:
Fraser Bain, Aberdeen International Airport
Paul Cunningham, First Scotland East
Bruce Ellis, Edinburgh Airport
Gary Fyfe, Edinburgh Airport
Ian Graham, First Scotland East
Paul Macleod, First Glasgow
Claire Munro, First Aberdeen

Lifetime Contribution as a Frontline Employee
Keith Banks, Glasgow Airport Ltd

Lifetime Contribution to Transport in Scotland
George Mair

For further information contact Transport Times Events
Contact name: Kirsty Walton
Tel: 0207 828 3804
Email: [email protected]

Notes to editors
1. The Scottish Transport Awards organised by Transport Times Events, are supported by the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland.

2. The awards were judged by:
• Transport Times Chief Executive and former government advisor Prof David Begg (Chair of the Judging Panel)
• Roy Brannen, Chief Executive, Transport Scotland
• George Hazel OBE, Director, George Hazel Consultancy
• Prof Iain Docherty, Dean, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Stirling
• Michelle Rennie, Director of Major Transport Infrastructure Projects, Transport Scotland

3. Photos of the event / winners are available via http://www.greatscotphotography.com/ code: scotran19