16 June 2017

Bus and rail success for Stagecoach at Scottish Transport Awards

  • Virgin Trains wins Public Transport Operator of the Year
  • Stagecoach North Scotland wins Best Bus Service

Stagecoach’s bus and rail services have been recognised with top honours at the 2017 Scottish Transport Awards.

Virgin Trains – of which Stagecoach is a major shareholder – was named Public Transport Operator of the Year at the 15th annual event held in Glasgow last night (Thursday 15 June).

Stagecoach North Scotland’s Jet 727 service, which operates to Aberdeen Airport, won the Best Bus Service award at the event. The company was also part of the winning Transport Team / Partnership of the Year entry alongside Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and First Bus for the introduction of the Grasshopper multi-operator smart ticketing scheme.

Virgin Trains has seen strong customer satisfaction levels and record passenger numbers on its east coast and west coast routes over the past year following a raft of investment, innovation and customer service improvements.

On the east coast route between Edinburgh and London, passenger numbers grew by 8% last year as train interiors were overhauled on its entire fleet and 45 additional services between the capitals were added.

On the west coast route, punctuality has improved to record levels and passenger volumes between Glasgow and London have rebounded following the closure of the route in early 2016 due to a bridge failure at Lamington. In a 24-week period to the end of March, passenger numbers were up by 28% compared to two years ago.

Stagecoach North Scotland’s Jet 727 service, which previously won the same award in 2011, has seen passenger numbers increase by 21.6% since 2014. Last year the company invested £1.7m investment in a fleet of double deck vehicles which has capacity for double the number of passengers and three times as much luggage storage. The new buses also offer USB charging points and free wi-fi and operate on a 10 minute frequency.

David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains’ east coast route, added: “We started our Virgin Trains journey just over two years ago and have already seen a root-and-branch overhaul over the service we provide to customers. Brand new train interiors, more frequent journeys, introduction of an industry-leading entertainment streaming app, BEAM. These have helped drive the amazing 8% growth in passenger numbers between Edinburgh and London last year and we couldn’t be more pleased to be recognised by Transport Times for putting those improvements in place.”

Mark Whitelocks, Stagecoach North Scotland Managing Director, said: “This award is great recognition of the hard work our staff put in every day to deliver a high quality, reliable service for passengers travelling to the airport and to continue making customer improvements.

“For the service to win this award for the second time is very pleasing. Through our recent investment in new vehicles, with free wi-fi, and the continued delivery of excellent customer service, we look forward to attracting even more people on to our greener, smarter services in the future.”

Carol Benzie, Managing Director at Aberdeen International Airport said “I am absolutely delighted to hear of Stagecoach’s well-deserved win at the Scottish Transport Awards. The route to and from the airport has proven to be very popular with both visitors to the city and local travellers alike, and the frequency at peak times provides very easy access to the city centre. The buses are comfortable and well-equipped, and we look forward to continuing our very successful partnership relationship with Stagecoach.”

The Scottish Transport Awards 2017 brings together the transport community to recognise and celebrate industry achievements across Scotland.

Stagecoach’s regional bus companies were shortlisted for a total of six awards at the event.

In addition, Virgin Trains employee Matt Litton, who intervened to stop the racist abuse of a mum and her four-year-old son was commended in the Frontline Employee of the Year category at the awards.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email: media@stagecoachgroup.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

Stagecoach Group

  • Stagecoach Group is an international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, the United States and Canada. The Group employs around 40,000 people, and operates around 13,000 buses, coaches, trains and trams.
  • Stagecoach is one of the UK’s biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,500 buses and coaches on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK.
  • Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast rail franchise. It also has a 90% shareholding in Virgin Trains East Coast, which operates the East Coast rail franchise.
  • Stagecoach operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
  • In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,300 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. megabus.com links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, contracted, charter, airport shuttle and sightseeing services.