Inspiring transport projects rewarded at National Transport Awards ceremony
The people making a real difference to transport across the UK were recognised at the prestigious National Transport Awards at the Westminster Park Plaza in London last night. Hosted by comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner, the awards attracted over 800 senior transport professionals to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the event including Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP who gave the keynote address.
Ealing took the prestigious Transport Local Authority of the Year award in recognition of a host of initiatives promoting safety and sustainable travel. Recent achievements include a complete redesign of Southall Broadway using shared space principles and a “boulevard concept” which has increased pedestrian and cycle priority without adversely affecting other traffic. The council has worked with bus operators to identify bus route delay hotspots and find solutions and lobbied successfully to maximise the benefits of both HS2 and Crossrail in the borough. Southampton City Council was highly commended in this category.
Merseytravel was named Integrated Transport Authority of the Year, sponsored by National Express, following successes in introducing new tickets and in setting out long-term plans. Merseytravel’s five-year Transport Plan for Growth takes a new perspective, seeing transport as a driver for economic growth. Within the last year they have seen success in reducing the cost of bus travel for young people through the introduction of MyTicket as well as the launch of smart ticketing. Merseyside’s smart ticketing scheme is already the most active outside of London.
Arriva Yorkshire were awarded Bus Operator of the Year. In 2014 they completed a year of investment and innovation. In partnership with First Group and CPT they have developed a next stop announcement smartphone app specifically for blind and visually impaired bus passengers providing users with real-time audio and visual alerts. Plymoth Citybus was highly commended in this category.
United Biscuits Logistics was the inaugural winner of the Freight Operator of the Year category. The 300-strong team improved customer service in 2014 and introduced a range of cost-saving projects. In the warehouse, narrow aisle staffed operations were replaced with unmanned cranes, taking the warehouse to 90% automation. Like-for-like carbon emissions from transport in 2014 were 43.5% lower than in 2005. Using 62 long trailers removed 450,000 truck miles last year. Waste vegetable oil from the company’s own manufacturing processes, of which 500 tonnes is generated annually, is used to power the company’s fleet.
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP said:
“Britain is on the move. Whether we are commuting to work, visiting friends and family or just heading out to the shops to put food on the table, we all depend on transport. On average, we each travel over 6,500 miles every year. And it’s as a result of personal travel and the movement of the products we buy and sell that we keep our economy growing.
“That is why the Government is investing record amounts in transport, and why those nominated for the Transport Times National Transport Awards are so deserving of recognition. They represent some of the 1.4 million people who work in transport and logistics, in countless companies, local authorities and other organisations, whom we have to thank for getting us wherever we need to be.
“And we need many more like them. The Government has a long-term plan to renew our nation’s transport infrastructure. We are investing in new roads and new railways, and our ports and airports are receiving investment from the private sector, too. As a result we need thousands of new transport engineers, drivers, and signallers.
HS2 alone is expected to create almost 25,000 jobs during construction and over 3,000 permanent jobs in operation. So it is right that when transport professionals excel, they are recognised. Every person and organisation nominated for a National Transport Award deserves to be proud. The awards are a prestigious annual opportunity to raise the profile of Britain’s transport professionals. I offer the nominees my congratulations and thanks.”
A full list of award winners and those who were highly commended can be found here.