The best of Northern England's transport industry were honour on Thursday 30th November at the 2nd Annual North of England Transport Awards, with 300 senior industry professionals in attendance. Hosted by BBC Breakfast Presenter Steph McGovern, the ceremony was held at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

John Cridland CBE, Chair, Transport for the North, gave the keynote speech and said:

"I'd like to thank Transport Times for again organising the North of England Transport Awards, which I'm pleased to see has now been established as an annual event. 2017 has been a busy year for Transport for the North, as I know it has been for colleagues across the transport world, and it was inspiring to hear about the achievements that have been made across the North as the awards were announced. The Statutory Instrument which will formally establish Transport for the North as a statutory body has recently been laid before Parliament and we will soon be publishing for consultation our Strategic Transport Plan, which will outline the transport infrastructure investment needed to drive the transformation of the Northern economy between now and 2050. Our work is hugely challenging but also hugely exciting and, with the support of business and civic leaders from across the North, alongside ongoing cross-party political commitment, we see a real opportunity to transform the North of England. These Awards demonstrate the depth of talent in the North available to realise this transformation."

Merseytravel, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority took the prestigious Combined Authority of the Year award, in recognition of their progress and improvements across a range of passenger transport policy areas within the last 12 months. They have recently celebrated 12 months of the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance – a formal partnership between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach, who together make up around 80 percent of their commercial bus market. Current and future investment in bus services, fleet, rail infrastructure and ticketing initiatives has led to increased patronage and satisfaction levels.

Blackpool Transport Services Ltd was named Public Transport Operator of the Year, whose bus passenger survey results indicate that 88% are satisfied with the overall quality of their journey on the service. Blackpool Transport Services have focused on investing in new buses and trams as well as technology. In January 2017, the tram's annualised patronage exceeded 5 million customers and it continues to grow at 3%pa.

Newcastle Airport took the title of Airport of the Year. Over the last 12 months Newcastle Airport have invested £20 million in upgrades, including digital signage, state of the art radar system, new terminal flooring, free premium wifi, gate area modernisation, self-service bag drop and WDF Express store.

Transport for Greater Manchester won the Construction and Engineering Project of the Year award sponsored by First Group. The £165m Second City Crossing is a new Metrolink extension through the heart of Manchester city centre. Working in a busy city centre and building a 21st century transport system in a Victorian city posed many challenges. The project, delivered on time and within budget, has contributed to increased patronage and provided greater capacity for future growth.

The Transport Project of the Year award was taken away by West Yorkshire Combined Authority for the CityConnect Superhighway. WYCA's ambitious cycle superhighway with innovative features links Bradford and Leeds city centres. It aims to increase cycling and walking especially in low income, hard-to-reach communities.

This year's Frontline Employee of the Year award went to five members of staff from Stagecoach Manchester who all went above and beyond the call of duty on the night of the Manchester Arena attack. Rob McCarthy and Ashley Mumford (Inspectors) alongside drivers Hayley Sibthorpe, Gary Wilkinson and Jose Lusimana were praised for their professionalism and tireless work on the night. These individuals saw sights that no one could prepared to see and yet were still able to assist in transporting and hiding injured people to safety or medical facilities. They are very worthy winners of this award.

Ceremony host Steph McGovern took the time to thank all members of the transport industry who assisted in the aftermath of that fateful night.

Two special individual awards were given out on the night. Outstanding Contribution to Transport across the North of England went to David Brown and Outstanding Contribution to Local Transport in the North of England was awarded to Councillor Liam Robinson. Earlier in the day at the conference, Professor Peter Mackie was awarded with Lifetime Contribution to Transport.

The full list of award winners and those who were highly commended is as follows:

Combined Authority of the Year
WINNER: Merseytravel - Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Public Transport Operator
WINNER: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd - Combining the Best of Bus and Tram Services
HIGHLY COMMEND: Stagecoach Manchester

Airport of the Year
WINNER: Newcastle Airport

Transport Project of the Year
WINNER: West Yorkshire Combined Authority – CityConnect Cycle Superhighway

Construction and Engineering Project of the Year sponsored by First Group
WINNER: Transport for Greater Manchester – Metrolink Second City Crossing
HIGHLY COMMEND: Costain – Port of Immingham Improvements Project

Economic Productivity Project of the Year
WINNER: West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Leeds City Council, Network Rail, the Department for Transport and CEG – Rail Growth Package

Contribution to Sustainable Transport
WINNER: Salford City Council – Green Wheels Travel Scheme

Excellence in Technology
WINNER: West Yorkshire Combined Authority – Contactless ticketing using Bluetooth beacons and smartphones

Transport Team/Partnership of the Year
WINNER: Merseytravel – Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance (Arriva Merseyside, Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and S.Lancs, Merseytravel)
HIGHLY COMMEND: Merseytravel – Wirral Loop Line Track Renewal Phase 1 Challenge

Excellence in Travel Information and Marketing
WINNER: Nexus - Tyne and Wear Metro for Great North Snowdogs

Customer Service Team of the Year
WINNER: Hull trains

Frontline Employee
WINNERS: Rob McCarthy, Inspector, Ashley Mumford, Inspector, Hayley Sibthorphe, Driver, Gary Wilkinson, Driver, Jose Lusimana, Driver, Stagecoach Manchester

HIGHLY COMMEND: Stuart Barret, Assistant Station Manager, Merseyrail
HIGHLY COMMEND: Lee Cottam, Bus Driver, Stagecoach Yorkshire
HIGHLY COMMEND: John Butt, Conductor, TransPennine Express
HIGHLY COMMEND: Janet Morrison, Metro Train Driver, Nexus

Lifetime to Contribution to Transport

WINNER: Professor. Peter Mackie

Outstanding Contribution to Transport across the North of England

WINNER: David Brown

Outstanding Contribution to Local Transport in the North of England

WINNER: Councillor Liam Robinson

Notes to editors:

Judges for the awards:-

• Chair: Prof. David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times
• Richard Threlfall, Partner & UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction, KPMG LLP
• David Sidebottom, Passenger Director, Transport Focus
• Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North

For further information contact:

Contact: Kirsty Walton

Tel: 0207 828 3804
Email: [email protected]

Photos from the night will likely be available from Friday 1st December 2017. Please email [email protected] if you would like copies.