Cambridgeshire County Council named Transport Authority of the Year in UK Bus Awards
CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council was celebrating today as it won the prestigious Transport Authority of the Year. The accolade came in front of 650 guests at the Hilton Hotel, London, during the UK Bus Awards. Bus companies and local councils across the east
CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council has been named Transport Authority of the Year at the prestigious UK Bus Awards held in London yesterday.
The award was given to the authority which judges described as having 'succeeded in tempting people out of their cars' and 'developing pro-bus policies over the last decade.'
Over the last eight years, bus passenger numbers in Cambridgeshire have risen from 15.1 million to 24.2 million while the Park and Ride service in Cambridge has seen more than four million users during the past year.
Other innovations have included the Real Time Passenger Information systems and the community minibus brokerage scheme.
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The award presented in front of more than 650 industry professionals at a ceremony at London's Hilton Hotel also praised the vision and courage shown in developing many projects including the Guided Busway.
Judges said the projects "have succeeded in tempting people out of their cars and helped bus operators grow the public transport market".
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Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac McGuire, Cabinet Member for Highways and Access, said: "Winning the award is recognition of a lot of hard work from so many people, including Brian Smith, Executive Director for Environment Services and bus operators.
"We have faced many challenges in recent years with cuts from central Government affecting our budget while our population has grown but we have worked hard to overcome them.
"We have succeeded because we have worked in partnership with our local bus operators, introduced new technology but most importantly we have listened to passengers.
"With the number of people using the buses continuing to grow, we know we can improve our services even further. For example, when The Busway opens, we estimate around 3.5 million trips on the service each year.
"Rest assured though we will not rest on our laurels - we know there is more we can do and we promise to use this award as a springboard to improve our service even further."
Meanwhile, Stagecoach's route X5's round-the-clock express coach service between Oxford and Cambridge has taken the Express Coach Operation title.
Luton-based Arriva's Green Line 757 service, which links London Victoria with Luton Airport 24 hours a day, seven days a week, was runner up in this category.
Norfolk Green and Norfolk County Council have together won the Bus in the Countryside Award whilst Norfolk County Council's Titan Project taking the prestigious Claudia Flanders accessibility award.
Two local bus companies were joint runners up in the competition for Scania Independent Operator of the Year - Norfolk Green and Konectbus.
A third, Ipswich Buses were awarded a highly commended prize in the same competition.
While Norfolk's School Run Park & Ride was runner up in the BAA Heathrow Award for Integration and was also highly commended in the CBS Outdoor Bus Marketing Campaign of the Year.
In the "people" categories bus driver, Brian Gosling of Arriva the Shires and Essex was highly commended in the National Bus Driver of the Year Award.
Congratulating all the finalists, UK Bus Awards chairman John Owen said he was "delighted" not only with the record breaking number of entries for 2009 but also the quality of those entries.
He said: "Not only have we received a record 210 entries across the categories this year, we are also hugely impressed by the standards of all of those entries giving the judges such a difficult time. It is thrilling to see such enthusiasm for the awards, particularly against such a harsh economic backdrop."
The lunchtime awards ceremony was compered by BBC Economics Editor, Stephanie Flanders and the prizes were presented by Anthony Smith, chief executive of consumer watchdog Passenger Focus.