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Eco-friendly bus drivers in Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Macduff best in the UK

John Thompson, from the Buchan depot
John Thompson, from the Buchan depot

A north-east bus depot has come out tops in an eco-awards scheme launched in memory of a former colleague.

Every year, Stagecoach awards its drivers for their technique, using a system that tracks their manoeuvres to encourage smoother, safe and more fuel-efficient journeys.

The awards were launched in 2015 in memory of Christopher Ball, who was instrumental in rolling out the GreenRoad technology across the UK before his death in 2014.

Now the winners of this year’s Christopher Ball Memorial Awards have been announced – with Stagecoach Bluebird’s Buchan depot being named the best in the UK.

The depots in Peterhead and Fraserburgh employ more than 80 bus drivers and operate a fleet of 31 buses and coaches.

Elaine Black, from the Macduff depot, won the best driver accolade for having the best Green Road score across all Stagecoach drivers across the UK.

John Thompson, Peter Knight and Dan Bowden from the Stagecoach Bluebird depot

‘Recognition is a boost for the team’

Stagecoach Bluebird’s managing director, Peter Knight, said he was thrilled the Buchan team had done so well – particularly during such a difficult year for staff and passengers alike.

“Smoother, fuel-efficient driving is safer and provides more comfortable journeys for our customers,” he said. “I’m delighted our team in Buchan have won this award for the first time, the recognition is a boost for the team who have gone above and beyond to keep our services running over the past year.”

The GreenRoad system allows drivers to improve their technique through a dashboard traffic system. It has delivered a significant improvement in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions across Stagecoach operations.

Earlier this year, Stagecoach invested a further £4million on the system to allow it to use GPS data and mapping services to help drivers avoid low bridges. 

Richard Hemming, GreenRoad vice-president of customer success, praised Stagecoach for its “determination and focus” to protect the environment.

He added: “We are proud of the role that GreenRoad has played in helping Stagecoach create a culture of safety and environmental awareness, continuing with the inspiring legacy left by Christopher Ball. We hope this year’s winners take pride in their achievements, and look forward to helping Stagecoach reach for even higher future goals.”

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