Family-owned Safeguard Coaches of Guildford is celebrating the outstanding talent and hard work of its staff after winning the Gold Award as Top Independent Operator at the prestigious UK Bus Awards 2015, held on 24 November 2015 on London’s South Bank before an audience of over 620 industry movers and shakers.

This year, the UK Bus Awards celebrates its 20th year – a momentous milestone for the scheme, which has played a key role in raising the profile of buses, recognising and rewarding the achievements of bus industry staff and inspiring others with the examples set by the winners.

The Top Independent Operator category is open to independently-owned operators of registered local bus services with fewer than 100 vehicles.

Announcing the results, the judges noted that Safeguard is a long established, respected, family-run operation which uses professional marketing techniques to target young people, particularly 16-19 year olds. They noted that the company has not increased fares since 2012 and operates in an area where there is high car ownership. The judges also welcomed the praise Safeguard Coaches attracted through mystery traveller checks conducted in October 2015, helping to demonstrate that buses can and do play a key role in providing sustainable transport in a congested town such as Guildford.

Off Stage Gold Award WinnerAndrew Halliday, Managing Director at Safeguard Coaches says: “It is a huge honour to be recognised in these prestigious awards.  Winning Gold highlights our commitment to customer service, regular investment and the dedication of our staff to deliver excellent service which has resulted in year-on-year growth in bus passenger numbers.”

The lunchtime ceremony was hosted by BBC News Presenter Jane Hill and, in congratulating all the winners, UK Bus Awards chairman Tony Depledge commented: “It’s great that the 20th year of the UK Bus Awards scheme shows yet again what can be achieved for the benefit of passengers and the communities we serve.”