East Anglia buses celebrate success at UK Bus Awards 2011

East Anglia’s bus companies and organisations are today celebrating their great success in the prestigious 2011 UK Bus Awards.

Unprecedented levels of passenger and mystery traveller praise has helped Rochford based driver Trevor Owen of Stephensons of Essex beat off extremely stiff competition from across the UK to be named Winner of the Top National Bus Driver award.

There are two Runner Up prizes awarded to companies in the area, firstly for Ipswich Buses in the Top Independent Operator category and also for Leighton Buzzard based Arnold White Estates in the Putting Passengers First Award.

There are also High Commendations for Norfolk County Council’s online Electronic Bus Service Registration initiative in the Innovation section, and for Bedford based Stagecoach’s X5 express coach service between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge in the Top Express Operation category.

They have been selected from over 250 highly competitive entries in 20 categories from across the country and were presented with their prizes before 650 industry movers and shakers at today’s glittering awards ceremony held at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

Congratulating all the shortlisted entries, UK Bus Awards chairman John Owen commented: “In these difficult and uncertain times, we’ve been both surprised and delighted by the number and quality of entries for the 2011 UK Bus Awards.

“The combination of rising fuel prices and cuts in public spending are making life particularly difficult for everybody involved in bus service provision at the moment. Even so, our judges were really impressed by the commitment to quality and innovation shown by bus operators, local authorities and their partners in this, the Awards' 16th year,” he continued.

“Over five billion passenger journeys are made by bus every year, and the industry has a huge amount to offer in delivering reduced congestion and carbon emissions. The finalists in this year’s Awards are contributing hugely with their bright ideas and their commitment to customer service. They are paving the way for the future success of an industry which remains firmly at the heart of our national life.”

The lunchtime ceremony was hosted by BBC News Presenter Jane Hill and the Keynote Address was given by Norman Baker MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport; Gillian Merron, Chair, Bus Users UK presented the Awards.

i UK Bus Awards website