UK’s leading bus and rail operator FirstGroup picked up four awards and two commendations at National Transport Awards

London, UK, 2013-10-25 — / — FirstGroup enjoyed a successful evening at last week’s (17 Oct) National Transport Awards.  The UK’s leading bus and rail operator came out on top as the most recognised private transport operator picking up four awards and two commendations.

First Glasgow’s ‘The One’ bus service won the much coveted ‘Excellence in Travel Information & Marketing’.

First Hampshire & Dorset and its partners, Hampshire County Council, scooped top prize in the ‘Transport Team / Partnership of the Year’ thanks to their highly successful Bus Rapid Transport service, ‘Eclipse’.   Also enjoying top spot in the same category was ScotRail and its partners, Network Rail, with their Paisley Canal Electrification project.

It was a good night for another FirstGroup franchise, First TransPennine Express (FTPE).  It was highly recommended in the ‘Rail Operator of the Year’ category, while one of its York based conductors, Rob Denison (20, from Leeds) won ‘Frontline Employee of the Year’ after he helped save the life of one of his colleagues.  In 2012, he found his driver unconscious at the controls of the train en route from Scarborough to York, having suffered a heart attack. Robert not only secured the train and tended to his colleague, but also ensured his passengers were well informed and reassured throughout the incident.

Denise Ross, a sales assistant at First Capital Connect, was also highly commended in the same category.

Managing Director of First UK Bus, Giles Fearnley, said: “At First we recognise the importance of strong partnerships and so I was especially pleased our partnership with Hampshire County Council was recognised. It was also encouraging to see South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive win the Integrated Transport Authority of the Year Award – we’ve worked very closely with our partners in South Yorkshire to improve bus services and attract more customers.

“Our success at the National Transport Awards follows a record 18 nominations ahead of the UK Bus Awards in November.  I’m delighted that our teams across the UK are being recognised for their partnership approach, improving services and attracting more customers.”

Vernon Barker, Managing Director of FirstGroup’s Rail Division, said: “It was a great night for FirstGroup – winning four awards is a tremendous achievement.

“Across the rail division we have thousands of examples of people going that extra mile every single day delivering our services and helping our customers.  I’m therefore particularly pleased a First employee won ‘Frontline Employee of the Year’ award.

“Rob Denison’s calm actions, presence of mind and natural response in line with his personal commitment and training undoubtedly played a key part in saving the life of one of his colleagues.  All at First are extremely proud of his actions and he thoroughly deserves the award.”

He added: “The next 12 months promise to be another year of achievement for FirstGroup and our rail franchises.”