NCT Celebrates Triple Win at UK Bus Awards

3 months ago Wed 29th Nov 2023

Gold, Silver and Bronze UK Bus Awards.

We’re celebrating after picking up Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards at the 2023 UK Bus Awards, held yesterday (28 November 2023) at Troxy in London.

The annual event which celebrates the achievements of the UK bus industry, recognised 5 times UK Bus Operator of the Year NCT, in three categories:

  • GOLD Award: Recruitment and Retention Award
  • SILVER Award: Top National Bus Driver, Tika Gurung
  • BRONZE Award: Top City Operator

NCT were also a finalist in the Marketing Campaign of the Year category, for its recent student activity.

Winning the Recruitment and Retention Award is an important milestone for NCT, recognising its exceptional efforts over the last year.

The bus industry has been facing significant challenges in a highly competitive labour market, with a well-publicised national shortage of bus drivers. Amidst this scarcity and the subsequent high levels of service cancellations experienced by many bus operators, NCT has managed to distinguish itself by successfully recruiting and retaining a substantial number of drivers.

Recruitment Team.

Over the past year, NCT’s dedicated Recruitment Team has worked tirelessly to address the shortage of bus drivers. Their relentless efforts have resulted in the recruitment of 103 new drivers, representing a remarkable 73% increase compared to the same period the year before.

This significant boost in driver numbers has been instrumental in meeting NCT’s commitment to deliver exceptional service quality, with less than 0.5% of journeys over the last eighteen months cancelled for driver availability issues.

Roadworks and traffic congestion have replaced driver availability as the key contributory factors for those journeys which do not run. 

NCT’s Driver of the Year, Tika Gurung, picked up the Silver Award in the Top National Bus Driver category. Turquoise Line driver Tika joined NCT three years ago and has demonstrated excellent performance and customer service through rigorous mystery traveller assessments.

Tika Gurung.

Before joining NCT, Tika’s journey took him from Hong Kong to Nepal before finally settling in the UK in 2007, where he arrived with his three brothers through his father, who served as a Gurkha. Prior to joining NCT, Tika gained valuable expertise as a bus driver with Metroline in London for five years. In 2019, he moved to Nottingham, and in 2020 he joined NCT. 

Throughout his time at NCT, Tika has consistently demonstrated professionalism and dedication to his role, with a perfect score of 100% in all driving assessments and excellent attendance.

The Bronze Award in the City Operator of the Year category builds on the successes achieved through recruitment, retention and exceptional drivers like Tika.

NCT passenger numbers are recovering well post-pandemic and are amongst the highest in the industry, as is NCT’s customer satisfaction score which in the most recent research was at 96%.

With 99% of all journeys operating and 92.1% of all journeys operating on time despite high volumes of roadworks and congestion, customers can rely on NCT when travelling around the city.

David Astill, NCT’s Managing Director commented, “To achieve bronze, silver and gold at this year’s bus industry awards event is very satisfying. I thank every member of our team who has focused on our challenge of delivering reliable services in the face of a difficult labour market post-pandemic. It’s great that our efforts to recruit and retain quality bus drivers has been identified as industry-leading, and of that we can all be very proud.” David went onto say “our drivers always score very highly in our customer satisfaction surveys, and the quality of our training is again enforced by Tika’s tremendous achievement in winning the silver award for Top National Bus Driver.”

Alan Millar, UK Bus Awards Chairman said, “We have one simple mission, and it’s to champion bus by recognising, rewarding and inspiring all those remarkable people that work within it. We’re committed to promoting innovation, inclusion and diversity, always priding ourselves on our integrity and transparency with a highly-respected judging process”.