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; Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Passenger Focus presented the Awards.
Ensignbus also featured jointly with First Essex Buses as runner-up in the Eureka! Award for Marketing Initiatives for the popular CollegeBUS scheme that runs between the Thurrock-based colleges and outlying areas throughout Essex.
The award comes hot on the heels of Ensignbus having just invested heavily in and now operating, Essex’s very first diesel-electric hybrid buses that offer fuel and emission savings of nearly 40%. The judges comments reflected reliability figures amongst the best in the country and innovations that had led to bus usage growth in an area that had previously not had a sustainable network of services. Peter Newman, Chairman of Ensignbus commented “We are a local company, not some huge multi-national serving our local community, so it’s a great achievement to be voted the UK’s top Independent operator and is a great reflection on all the work every member of the team puts in. We operate in a challenging environment both economically and particularly operationally being based around two of Europe’s busiest shopping centres, Europe’s busiest motorway and a key trunk road into and out of London.”
“In this year when we are celebrating our 40th anniversary as a company, have just put state-of-the-art vehicles into service, it was great to celebrate such an award with so many of our staff present there on the day.”
Congratulating the successful finalists, UK Bus Awards chairman John Owen commented: “Our winners today cover the wide range of disciplines involved in the bus industry. Our aim is to recognise and reward projects and organisations that are really pushing the boundaries in terms of innovation, marketing and technology. But, crucially, to focus on the people and the partnerships that keep the wheels turning, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
“We still live in challenging economic times, yet the bus industry has continued to innovate and invest for the future. The record number of entries for this year is testament to the commitment continually to raise the bar in terms of service quality in this, the Awards' 17th year,” he continued.