The people making a real difference to transport across Northern England were recognised at the inaugural North of England Transport Awards at the Midland Hotel in Manchester last night. Hosted by BBC Breakfast Steph McGovern, the awards attracted over 350 senior transport professionals to celebrate the first year of the event. John Cridland CBE, Chair, Transport for North, gave the keynote speech.
Transport for Greater Manchester took the prestigious Combined Authority of the Year award, sponsored by Clear Channel, in recognition of their on-going improvements to the Transport Network in the city. Working with more than 30 bus operators, TfGM has introduced one of the largest smart ticket schemes outside London. Passengers can now buy a range of multi-operator tickets on a smart card that can be used on buses across Greater Manchester. Metrolink also continues to expand with the second city crossing due to open later this year.
Metrolink RATP Dev was named Public Transport Operator of the Year whose network, in the past five years, has trebled in size, and now has seven lines transporting 90,000 passengers each day. In 2015 the operator carried a record number of passengers whilst also increasing customer satisfaction to 89% in the Transport Focus light rail survey.
Liverpool John Lennon took the title of Airport of the Year. Last year the airport enjoyed its most successful year since 2012 with over 4.3 million passengers passing through. Around £2.5m has been invested in various terminal developments, including improvements to the departure lounge.
Seaport of the Year went to Peel Ports Group – the Port of Liverpool who over the last year has invested £750m to improve its container, warehousing and biomass facilities at the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal. The construction of a new £400m deep water container terminal, Liverpool2 will more than double container capacity at the port.
PATROL Joint Committee and Traffic Penalty Tribunal won the Excellence in Technology award. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicates in appeals against traffic penalties issued by local authorities under the civil enforcement scheme. Prior to the introduction of the online system, only 10% of appeals were submitted electronically. Now more than 90% are dealt with online.
This year's Frontline Employee of the Year award went to two joint winners who both went above above and beyond the call of duty at work occasions. Tina Roberts, Medibus Driver at East Riding of Yorkshire Council is a compassionate individual who regularly accommodates unusual requests for passengers on her bus route. Mike Phillips, Curser Inspector at Merseytravel is highly valued amongst his colleagues for his wealth of knowledge, but he stood out to the judges for his life saving actions earlier this year, when he came to the aid of an injured customer.
John Cridland CBE, Chair, Transport for the North said:
"I'd like to thank Transport Times for organising the first North of England Transport Awards, which I hope and expect will become an annual event. These are exciting times for transport in the North. The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review showed that transforming the North's transport system will be vital to transforming the North's economy. In the year since I became Chair of Transport for the North, I have been struck by how much agreement there is about the importance of transport infrastructure in closing the economic gap between the North and the rest of England, both from civic and business leaders. TfN is now developing a Strategic Transport Plan to outline the ways in which we need to connect the North in order to grow its economy between now and 2050. Our plans are ambitious, and we can't realise them without the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of the people we are celebrating here tonight."
The full list of award winners and those who were highly commended is as follows:
Combined Authority of the Year
Winner: Transport for Greater Manchester
Commend: Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Public Transport Operator of the Year
Winner: Metrolink RATP Dev - Operating the largest Light Rail system in the UK
Commend: Stagecoach Manchester
Airport of the Year
Winner: Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Seaport of the Year
Winner: Peel Ports Group - The Port of Liverpool
Transport Project of the Year
Winner: First Manchester with TfGM & Wigan, Salford and Manchester City Councils - Launch of Vantage
Commend: Carillion - Leeds Station Southern Entrance
Construction and Engineering Project of the Year
Winner: Transport for Greater Manchester and Balfour Beatty - Leigh to Ellenbrook Guided Busway
Economic Productivity Project of the Year
Winner: DMBC and Mott MacDonald - Great Yorkshire Way
Commend: Peel Ports Group - North West Investment Programme
Contribution to Sustainable Transport
Winner: First York - Electric Vehicles and York's Park & Ride
Commend: Transport for Greater Manchester - Clean Air for Schools
Excellence in Technology
Winner: PATROL Joint Committee - Traffic Penalty Tribunal- FOAM
Commend: North Yorkshire County Council and Elgin - Transforming traffic management and roadworks communication in North Yorkshire
Commend: Alstom - TrainScanner
Transport Team/Partnership of the Year
Winner: Arriva North East, Tees Valley Bus Network Improvements scheme (TVBNI)
Commend: Nexus - Keeping Tyne and Wear Metro on the move through winter
Transport Supplier of the Year sponsored
Excellence in Travel Information and Marketing
Winner: Nexus - Tyne and Wear Metro driving passenger growth
Commend: First UK Bus, Halifax's Red Arrow Service
Customer Service Team of the Year
Winner: Hull Trains
Commend: Merseyrail – Aintree Grand National Event Team
Frontline Employee of the Year
Joint Winners: Tina Roberts, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Mike Phillips, Merseytravel
Commend: Stuart Blakeley, Northern
Commend: Dan Fawcett, Highways England
Commend: Luke Bednarz, Highways England
Commend: John Gordon, Go North East
Commend: Jo Morgan, Stagecoach Manchester
Commend: Joel Musgreave, Stagecoach Yorkshire
Commend: Craig Mycock, Stagecoach Manchester
Commend: Graham Palmer, Northern
Commend: Chris Pickard, TransPennine Express
Commend: Alex Smith, Arriva Yorkshire
Commend: Bradley Taylor, Transport for Greater Manchester
Lifetime Contribution to Transport in Northern England
Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council
Notes to editors:
• Chair: David Brown, Chief Executive, Transport for the North
• Richard Threlfall, Partner & UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction, KPMG LLP
• Louise Ellman MP, Chair, House of Commons, Transport Select Committee
• David Sidebottom, Passenger Director, Transport Focus
A full review of the awards will appear in the December issue of Transport Times magazine, published on 19 December 2016