The people making a real difference to transport across the UK were recognised at the prestigious National Transport Awards at the Westminster Park Plaza in London last night. Hosted by comedian Hugh Dennis, the awards attracted over 700 senior transport professionals to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the event including new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP who gave the keynote address.
Brighton and Hove Council took the prestigious Transport Local Authority of the Year award in recognition of a host of initiatives promoting safety and sustainable travel. The council put people and places at the heart of their local transport plan. The A270 Lewes Road has been redesigned with segregated bus and cycle lanes and "floating" bus stops to allow cyclists to pass buses safely. Safer routes to schools have been developed and the city has the highest growth rate for cycling to work and the highest percentage of people walking to work in the South East.
Transport for West Midlands was named City-Region Transport Authority of the Year, sponsored by National Express. In a UK first, predecessors Centro developed the innovative Bus Alliance to encourage investment in the network, increase standards and improve bus links. Last year a new fleet of trams were introduced part of the Metro extension project. The extension into Birmingham city centre opened in December, with trams operating on the city's streets for the first time in 60 years.
In what was a big night for the Midlands, the Bus operator of the Year category was awarded to National Express West Midlands. Passenger reaction to the introduction of 60 high-quality Platinum buses with free wifi, extra legroom and comfy seats has surpassed expectations. There has been 25% growth in patronage on the best route; in a survey 27% of the people questioned were new bus users buses. NX has promised to introduce 75 Crimson buses and 150 Platinum buses within three years, an investment of £125m. Plymouth Citybus received a commendation in this category.
The much coveted Rail Operator of the Year, sponsored by Thales, went to Hull Trains for achieving one of the highest satisfaction scores in the industry. Hull Trains run 90 direct services a week from Hull to London. For the past three years, the company has achieved first place in the National Rail Passenger Survey for passenger satisfaction, reaching 97% in January, a record score for a long-distance train operator. Mobile, print at home and new connections tickets have all been introduced with carbon emissions being reduced by 9.25%.
Ferry Operator of the Year went to Thames Clippers. Passenger growth has been consistent in both commuter and leisure passengers. Last October two new 150-sector vessels were added to the service, a total investment of £6.5m. In the last TfL survey services scored a 91% satisfaction rate overall – the highest it has ever recorded!
Bam Nuttall took the honours in the Transport Supplier of the Year category. They have been involved with challenging projects and innovative partnership across the UK. These have included The Borders Railway and the modernisation of Cardiff Queen Street and Central stations among many other projects. They impressed the judges mostly with their impress stakeholder management skills and their high retention rate of apprentices at 96%.
Heathrow Airport's T2 took the honours in the Airport of the Year category, sponsored by Worldline. The Terminal was opened in 2014 and hosts 26 airlines, including the Star Alliance members. It provides capacity for around 20 million arriving and departing passengers. 97% of the old building was recycled and the new terminal has reduced CO2 emissions by 40.5% compared to the old terminal. Levels of overall satisfaction with Heathrow T2 rose to an all-time high of 4.21 in the first quarter of this year, a best ever score.
This year's Frontline Employee of the Year award went to Loughton train driver Frank Hoffman, TfL. He saved the lives of two members of travelling public on separate occasions in the last 12 months with his swift response and brave actions in both incidences where he administered CPR expertly. Without doubt both of the injured men would have died without the help of Frank.
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP said:
Transport has a unique power to make people's lives better. It connects us with family and friends. It links us with jobs and schools. It helps businesses reach new markets. And it drives economic growth and prosperity.
Such is our desire for mobility today that we are travelling twice as much as we did in 1970, and all the indicators show that demand for transport will continue to grow in the future. That is why the Government is currently rolling out the biggest transport investment programme for generations – from Crossrail and smart motorways to new cycle lanes and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
But government investment can only achieve so much. It is the transport professionals providing the services who are most responsible for keeping the country moving – from highways authorities and town planners to bus operators, transport police and road safety experts.
So it is right that once a year we have an opportunity to recognise the very best from across the industry at the National Transport Awards. Each of the nominees for 2016 has excelled in a different way, but all have succeeded in raising the standard of transport delivery across modern Britain. And that is something the whole country can celebrate.
The full list of award winners and those who were highly commended is as follows:
Transport Local Authority of the Year
Winner: Brighton & Hove City Council
Commend: Aberdeenshire Council
City-Region Transport Authority of the Year
Winner: Transport for West Midlands
Improvements to Bus Services
Winner: LibertyBus Jersey
Commend: Transport for West Midlands - New Platinum buses introduce gold service as standard
Excellence in Cycling and Walking
Winner: Leicester City Council - Connecting Leicester - Pedestrian and cycling links in the city centre
Road Safety, Traffic Management and Enforcement
Winner: Transport for London, Safer Lorry Scheme
Commend: Bedford Borough Council, Union Street Turbo-style Roundabout
Rail Operator of the Year
Winner: Hull Trains
Ferry Operator of the Year
Winner: MBNA Thames Clippers
Commend: Calmac Ferries
Bus Operator of the Year
Winner: National Express West Midlands
Commend: Plymouth Citybus - Going the Extra Mile
Rail Station of the Year
Winner: Network Rail, Manchester Victoria Station
Commend: West Yorkshire Combined Authority – Apperley Bridge
Port of the Year
Winner: Port of Dover: Traffic Management Improvement Project
Airport of the Year
Winner: Heathrow Airport T2
Commend: London Luton Airport
Transport Supplier of the Year
Winner: Bam Nuttall
Contribution to Sustainable Transport
Winner: First Group Plc – Bristol 2015 European Green Capital
Commend: Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen City Region Hydrogen Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2025
Most Innovative Transport Project of the Year
Winner: Clearview Intelligence - Transport Scotland, BEAR (Scotland), Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University –Intelligent Road Studs on the A720 Sheriffhall Roundabout
Winner: ADL Virtual Electric - Uses 'geofencing'
Transport Team/Partnership of the Year
Winner: West Yorkshire Combined Authority - travel2train
Commend: MTR Crossrail - MTR and Network Rail for collaborative working on the TfL Rail line
Commend: Atkins - Staffordshire Alliance
Travel Information and Marketing
Winner: Transport Scotland, Forth Road Bridge Travel Plan - December 2015
Winner: Frank Hoffman, Loughton Train Operator, Transport for London
• Godfred Boateng, Customer Service Assistant, Network Rail (High Speed)
• Victoria Garcia, Accessibility & Communities Officer, Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company
• Dave Gerrard, Bus Driver, National Express
• Kamel Menous, Front Line Street Cleaner, Amey
• Graham Palmer, Conductor, Northern
• Robert Steadman, Train Operator, London Underground
• Mike Tyler, Revenue Control Officer, Thameslink
• Demi Wylie, Team Manager, Caledonian MacBrayne
Construction and Engineering Project of the Year
Winner: Mace, Atkins and Network Rail, Birmingham New Street Station
Commend: TfGM / Balfour Beatty – Leigh to Ellenbrook Guided Busway
Outstanding Contribution Award to Transport
Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP
Outstanding Services to Transport
Nicola Shaw CBE
A full review of the awards will appear in the November issue of Transport Times magazine, published on 11 November 2016.
Photographs from the evening can be purchased at www.simply-photography.co.uk