Crawley bus depot takes silver in prestigious industry awards
Metrobus' Crawley depot, which operates Fastway and other local services, scooped a Silver Award at the UK Bus Awards.
It was the fourth year in a row that the depot has won a prize in the Top National Bus Depot category at the awards, which are designed to recognise and reward excellence and good practice in a wide range of disciplines associated with the operation, design and promotion of bus services. They were pipped to the Gold award by Stagecoach's Sunderland depot in the North East.
Metrobus also won the Gold Award for Making Buses a Better Choice with their ‘upgrade to the Fastway' entry. The 24-hour rapid transit system of guided busways, bus lanes and bus-only links and high-spec infrastructure operates primarily for workers at Gatwick Airport and business commuters.
Launched ten years ago, the last financial year saw dramatic improvements including a major investment in the Fastway Upgrade, which serves Manor Royal. The service is the result of a partnership between Metrobus, Gatwick Airport and four local authorities, and the £3m upgrade project was funded by Metrobus, with support from the other partners.
To justify the cost which funded 18 new vehicles and continuing timetable improvement, Metrobus needed to increase patronage by 4% - in the first 12 months of introducing the new buses, patronage on both Fastway routes was up by 8% to over 4.2m passengers per annum.
The UK Bus Awards scheme was founded in 1996 and is marking its 20th annual competition this year. The scheme is organised and run by an independent not-for-dividend company which works with a Management Committee of industry stakeholders to administer and develop the scheme.
Entries are judged by panels of independent experts. Before deciding the winners, finalists in the operating and driving categories were checked by "mystery travellers" to ensure that service delivery is up to the mark.