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Fourth national award win for bus depot staff

By Kyle Ritchie

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Stagecoach North Scotland’s Macduff depot has won the top UK depot award for the fourth consecutive year.

The coach company has recognised its UK bus eco-driving champions through an annual awards scheme held in tribute to a former employee.

Christopher Ball, who was a ecodriver project manager, passed away in 2014. Mr Ball was instrumental in introducing the GreenRoad eco-driving technology to Stagecoach’s bus companies across the UK and was a respected and well-liked employee.

Macduff bus depot staff were presented with their award at the Banff Springs Hotel.
Macduff bus depot staff were presented with their award at the Banff Springs Hotel.

As a tribute to him, an awards scheme in his memory was introduced in 2015 and the company has recently awarded the 2019 winners.

The Christopher Ball Memorial Awards are awarded to the best performing eco-driving company, depot and individual within the firm.

The depot in Macduff employs more than 50 people and has a fleet of nearly 30 buses, including 15 brand new double deckers marking a £3.5 million investment in March this year.

The GreenRoad system is installed on all Stagecoach vehicles at the group's bus companies. Using a traffic-light LED system on the dashboard, the system gives drivers instant feedback on their driving manoeuvres, encouraging smoother, safer, and more fuel-efficient driving.

To date, use of GreenRoad’s system and Stagecoach’s driver training programme has helped deliver a significant improvement in fuel efficiency and reduction in CO2 emissions across Stagecoach operations in the UK.

Regional director for Scotland and Wales, Robert Andrew said: “We are grateful to be able to pay tribute to Christopher and his involvement in the introduction of this eco-driving technology at our bus companies, through these important awards.

“Smoother, fuel-efficient driving is safer, provides more comfortable journeys for our customers and helps cut our carbon footprint.

"Our winners have shown excellent, consistent eco-driving performance over the past year and I would like to congratulate them all.”

It was revealed earlier this year that Stagecoach bus employees again topped a global eco-driver performance scheme which measures fuel-efficient driving.

Mr Ball’s father John, who was involved in presenting the awards, said: “It’s a real testament that these winners have continued to lead the way over the past few years.

"I’d like to congratulate all of the winners again this year. It means a lot to our family to know that Christopher's hard work is being continued and he would have been delighted that the GreenRoad system is helping to deliver such high standards of driving across Stagecoach."

Almost 4500 Stagecoach drivers were awarded Fleet Elite status under the programme managed by GreenRoad, whose telematics system serves professional drivers in the UK, Ireland, Europe, the Middle East, America, Australia and New Zealand.

Fleet Elite standard drivers must clock up more than 500 driving hours in a year and achieve an average of five or less events, such as harsh braking or acceleration, per 10 hours of driving over the calendar year.

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