First West of England takes gold and bronze at UK Bus Awards.
Bus company First West of England is celebrating today having won gold and bronze in two categories at the 2019 UK Bus Awards.
The company fought off competition from up and down the country to see its initiative ‘Going for Growth’ take the top spot in the Sustained Marketing Excellence category, sponsored by Global.
Over the last five years, First Bus in West of England has seen more and more people jump on board its buses bucking the national trend of decreasing bus passengers, despite challenging conditions in Bristol as one of the UK’s most congested cities. The team has focused on simplifying fares, modernising the bus fleet, promoting digital ways to buy tickets and ongoing community engagement.
The company’s metrobus service took the bronze in the Making Buses a Better Choice category, sponsored by Heathrow. The innovative new service has carried more than two million passengers in a little over a year and customer numbers are still growing. It uses guided busways, bus-only bridges and buy-before-you-board technology.
James Freeman, Managing Director at First West of England said:
“The Sustained Marketing Excellence Award recognises where public transport initiatives have made a real difference in encouraging more people to travel by bus. Using creative marketing initiatives and significant investment in new bus technologies, First West of England has seen exceptional increase in customer numbers across the region, with passengers in Bristol up by 52.5% in the last 5 years. We’re now delighted and also humbled to see our success and hard work rewarded with the top Gold merit for this category.
“The popular launch of Bristol’s three metrobus routes has been another local success story and it’s fantastic to see this new scheme awarded Bronze for Making Buses the Better Choice, alongside the likes of Oxford Bus Company and Translink of Northern Ireland. We’d like to thank the UK Bus Awards for the opportunity to take part alongside some of the best public transport initiatives in the country.”
The judges praised First West of England for its excellent conception and execution, they were also impressed with the extensive customer research which the company undertakes.
Mark Yexley, Chairman of the UK Bus Awards, said: “A big congratulations from all of us here at the UK Bus Awards. To achieve the growth that First West of England is experiencing demonstrates the commitment and dedication of the team, it’s a fantastic success story.”
Silver in the Sustained Marketing Excellence category went to Uno for its People Against Ordinary programme, and bronze went to Stagecoach East Scotland for its Express City Connect.