FirstGroup’s Rail and Bus Operations Win at Inaugural North of England Transport Awards

Dec. 12, 2016
Transport operator FirstGroup scooped rail and bus sector prizes at the inaugural North of England Transport Awards.

Open access rail provider Hull Trains was named Customer Service Team of the Year, just two months after being crowned UK Rail Operator of the Year at the National Transport Awards.

FirstGroup’s bus operations also scored prizes at the ceremony, with First York and First Manchester winning their respective categories.

First York claimed the Contribution to Sustainable Transport award for its electric vehicles and development of the city’s Park & Ride network.

In a joint-win with Transport for Greater Manchester and Wigan, Salford and Manchester city councils, the launch of First Manchester’s Vantage guided busway was named Project of the Year.

Chris Pickard, a conductor on FirstGroup’s TransPennine Express, was highly commended in the Frontline Employee of the Year category.

In the Travel Information and Marketing category, First Bus’s Halifax Red Arrow service was also highly commended.

Held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, and hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, the awards attracted over 350 senior transport professionals to celebrate the first year of the event. John Cridland CBE, chair of Transport for North, gave the keynote speech.

Debbie Birch, head of HR at Hull Trains, said of the award: “This award is a brilliant reflection of our colleagues and the service they provide, many of whom have been with Hull Trains since the company started in 2000. We do invest in world-class standard customer service training for every member of the Hull Trains team, but you can’t always teach the ‘Hull welcome’, which is what, I believe, makes us so special.”

Dave Alexander, divisional director for First Bus, said: “To have achieved such high levels of success, in Manchester, York and Halifax, demonstrates the hard work and commitment of colleagues within our regional businesses. This recognition is richly deserved.”