Top Express Coach Operation

Scheduled express coach services are an integral part of our transport system, alongside local bus services and the rail network. Services to airports, tourist attractions and for less-affluent people, including students, for example, can act to improve sustainable accessibility and reduce car travel in exactly the same way as other forms of public transport.

The growth of competition in the market, together with the continued development of brands such as Green Line, Scottish Citylink, Megabus and National Express, shows that the express service sector is dynamic and plays an important part in our transport system. This award is open to operators of services on their own account or who contract to others (e.g. National Express or Scottish Citylink).

The winner of the Award for Top Express Coach Operation will demonstrate delivery of consistently excellent customer service; the company will be sound financially, maintaining high operational and engineering standards, giving priority to the health and safety of passengers and staff through comprehensive risk management.

The Top Express Coach Operation demonstrates investment in fleet and operating staff, forms effective partnerships, identifies with and responds to the markets it serves and, through its quality of operation, continually strives to sustain and grow its market.


Part of the modern fleet deployed by Stagecoach on 
the network.Winner, Gold Award

Express City Connect - Stagecoach East Scotland

Express City Connect provides a high quality public transport network of services linking Fife, Perthshire, Dundee and Angus, and extending into Edinburgh, Livingston, Aberdeen, Glasgow and now Glasgow Airport. Coaches feature leather seats and free wifi offering a luxury journey, whilst also helping to relieve congestion and achieve modal shift. Continued investment and monitoring ensure effective service provision and growth.

The judges were impressed with the commercial figures on what is still a developing network, and applauded the innovations and partnership working with the ten local authorities in the communities served by the network. 

Ability to work at your seat is an important feature of modern 
express travelWinner, Silver Award

Oxford Tube - Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

The Oxford Tube operates all day, every day to provide a frequent, reliable and safe connection for  passengers travelling between Oxford and London. The company believes that its strength is in its  people - the drivers and the customer service team who are committed to their work and proud to be a part of the team.

The passion for providing a high quality service to our customers means that the wheels keep turning despite what the weather, road conditions and roadworks throw at them.

Stagecoach continually invests into the fleet to ensure that passengers are relaxed and comfortable. With no advance booking required, customers are offered a flexible service at an affordable price and can travel on modern, clean and technically enhanced coaches - and are always be guaranteed a seat!

One of the attractive fleet on the Oxford Bus Company's 
London service, the X90.Winner, Bronze Award

Oxford Bus Company

With a fleet of around 160 vehicles of which 45 are coaches, Oxford Bus Company operates express coach services to London and Heathrow and Gatwick airports on its own account, together with the current contract for the National Express 737 service between Oxford and Luton and Stansted airports.

In addition the company also runs a comprehensive network of bus services in the city, plus the BROOKESbus service in partnership with Oxford Brookes University, and the popular park & ride service which connects five car parks to the city centre.

A Live Chat facility was added to the company's website last year.

Who can be nominated?

Individual scheduled express coach services operated by single licensed operators, either on their own account or under contract to a marketing organisation.

… and by whom?

We welcome nominations from customers, authorities, user groups, bus operators or marketing organisations which contract in operators to run a service or network of services. Self-nomination was acceptable.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The short-list will be determined on the basis of the quality of the submissions, which need to:

  • Provide the full range of information requested in the Key Performance Indicators section of the entry form
  • Address as fully as possible the individual criteria headings on the form.

The following notes provide further guidance on the information to be provided under each of the headings:

Customer Relations and Performance: show how the operator maintains and improves customer relations. For example how it uses;

  • customer satisfaction surveys
  • suggestion and complaint-handling procedures
  • customer newsletters

Management of Stakeholder Relations and Partnerships: describe the company’s approach to the management of its relationships with local authorities and other community and local business organisations. Describe the work done on partnerships with authorities and other bodies and state how it fosters and contributes to the life of the communities it serves

Market Growth and Development: show how the operator contributes to sustaining and expanding the market for public transport in their area. This should be supported by statistics to confirm patronage and revenue trends and evidence of modal shift.

Employee Relations and Training: provide evidence of the company’s employee relations policies and any discernable outcomes, including;

  • diversity
  • equal opportunities
  • training, including CPC progress
  • employee development programmes, such as advanced driver training and testing
  • other initiatives and/or practices that engender staff loyalty.

Health, Safety and Risk Management: demonstrate the company’s approach to risk assessment in all its activities including;

  • a commentary on Health and Safety issues for the past year, supported by reports on any significant incidents,
  • showing how the company assesses the impact of its activities on staff, passengers and the general public and has monitoring and control measures to reduce risk and the level of the residual risks.

Environmental and CSR Matters: describe the operator’s approach to environmental matters and social responsibility and consequential outcomes.
Policies on diversity and accessibility: state whether there are policies for different customer groups, for example recognising disability and diversity, and/or deprived localities and specifically describe the operator’s approach to improving or promoting the accessibility of their product for people with various types of mobility difficulty.

Serious Complaints and Enforcement Action: state whether or not the company resolved any issues by reference to the Bus Appeals Body within the last three years prior to submission of this entry. If so, the issues and the outcome need to be described. Entrants should also state whether or not there has been any Traffic Commissioner action in the three years prior to entry or whether any investigation, disciplinary hearing or known VOSA report is ongoing at the time of entry. If so, provide a full account of the matter(s).

Entries should address each of the above criteria to assist with the judging process, because non-transferable marks will be allocated for each of these criteria.

Shortlisted entries may also be assessed by ‘mystery travellers’ to monitor the standard of service delivery.

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