Nottingham City Transport has crowned its new Driver of the Year, as well as recognising and rewarding engineers, teams, charity champions and unsung heroes at its annual Excellence Awards.
Held at Nottingham Playhouse on 9th January 2020, awards were presented in seven different categories at NCT’s 9th annual awards.
Bridgford Bus driver Gary Parr was crowned Driver of the Year 2019, after scoring 92% in a tough round of mystery traveller assessments. A driver at NCT for four years, Gary has received several customer commendations, with the mystery traveller describing him as ‘a confident, caring driver who was exceptionally polite towards every passenger”.
Gary received his award from Playhouse Panto legend John Elkington, aka Nurse Tilly Trott, who came on to stage as a bus conductress.
Six drivers received Customer Commendation Awards, after going above and beyond, many in difficult and challenging situations:
· Mick Rose called an ambulance for someone he found unresponsive on the side of the road on his way to work
· Terry Spencer ensured two young females were safely inside their home after dropping them outside their house when they received unwanted attention
· Richard Mroz waited at the bus stop on Barton Lane (between Gotham and Clifton) until a schoolgirl was safely picked up by one of her parents on a dark autumn night
· Pete Martin came to the rescue of a passenger who was being accosted at the bus stop and invited her on the bus to get her out of harm’s way
· David Duncan and Reiss Cowan-Jenkins both intervened when a nasty argument was taking place on the bus and were able to defuse the situation
Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “It was such a pleasure to host the Nottingham City Transport awards once again. The willingness of NCT bus drivers to go above and beyond to take care of their customers and community is really wonderful to see. We are very proud to celebrate our partnership with NCT.”
Whilst bus drivers make up two-thirds of NCT employees, the Excellence Awards recognised employees from across the business.
Keeping the buses maintained and available for service are NCT’s team of engineers, who took home three awards.
Apprentice Coachbuilder Daniel Spray took home the Rising Star award, recognising his commitment and development as one of NCT’s youngest employees.
Gotham Garage based Neal Cousins took home the Unsung Hero award, recognising his commitment and devotion as the depot’s main engineer and for how he came in to help drain water and clean up the Gotham garage site after last year’s flooding.
The Engineer of the Year award was picked up by Ben Tierney. Ben was the most nominated person in all the categories at NCT’s awards and has an excellent ability to diagnose and repair the most complicated of faults. Ben joined NCT as an Apprentice 12 years ago and spends a lot of time passing on his exceptional knowledge to the next generation of apprentices.
Two groups of employees raised significant amounts of money for local good causes during 2019 and were awarded Charity Champion Awards.
The Nottingham City Transport Football team helped raise £4,000 for When you Wish Upon a Star by stepping in and playing Hastings Magpies last May and in late summer, a match against trentbarton helped raise £2,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
In August, fourteen NCT employees raised £8,400 for Hayward House after they shaved half their hair or beard off. The head-shave was the idea of driver Andy Godfrey, who along with fellow fundraisers, received the award from the Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, Barbara Cathcart.
The Team of the Year Award, a new category for 2020, was presented to Nottingham City Transport’s Travel Centre.
As the first port of call for customer enquiries 7 days a week, the team handle a variety of issues and enquiries, ranging from bus pass issues and top ups, journey planning, complaints and lost property. In NCT’s most recent customer research, satisfaction with customer service from the Call Centre was 94% and the Travel Centre 95%.
NCT’s Managing Director Mark Fowles congratulated all the finalists, adding, “2019 was an exceptionally proud year for Nottingham City Transport as we were crowned UK Bus Operator of the Year for a record-breaking fifth time and our employees picked up national awards for their commitment and devotion to NCT. NCT can only win national awards because of its people and it’s great to reward and recognise so many fantastic employees at our Excellence Awards”