National Express West Midlands team wins global safety award

A small but mighty team at National Express West Midlands has won a global award for transforming safety in Birmingham.

The local operations team, based at the operator’s Yardley Wood garage in Birmingham, has worked tirelessly to improve the garage’s performance - and has reached the very highest ranking versus its sister garages across the West Midlands and Dundee.

As a result, the team were invited to join colleagues from across the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Bahrain, Spain, Morocco and North America, at the National Express Group Values Awards, held at the London Transport Museum.

At the prestigious London event, the Yardley Wood operations team were awarded the National Express Group Safety Value award by Chief Executive Dean Finch, in recognition of their efforts and achievement in becoming safety leaders.

Mark Heffernan, National Express UK Bus Operations and Safety Director, said:

“Safety is the number one priority for National Express. The Yardley Wood team have transformed safety culture and really embraced the partnership working with our drivers and engineering teams, resulting in an award-winning position that was unimaginable 12 months ago. 

“We’re very proud of the way the team have turned things around and become safety leaders in our business. I’m delighted that their efforts have been recognised with this fantastic safety award.”

John Shaw, National Express West Midlands Operations Manager, said:

“As a public transport operator is it our responsibility to ensure our staff and our customers are able to get to where they need to be, safely. The team at Yardley Wood have really pulled together to transform our local safety culture and improve our KPIs. 

“Working cohesively across departments, as well as with our drivers, has massively improved our standards and helped us slingshot forward to become safety leaders in our business. We’re really pleased that the hard work is paying off and we’re absolutely over the moon with our award.”

Under John’s leadership, the garage has risen like a phoenix to produce phenomenal safety results.

Working as a cohesive team, Yardley Wood are now safety KPI leaders. 100% of drivers are coached on time and over 97% of the coaching is effective. The stunning turnaround demonstrates the team’s commitment to transforming safety.

The operations team have created a productive culture of managing people rather than processes, leading to a positive impact on drivers. 

The team has engaged with drivers to gain feedback on duties and rotas, and worked together to introduce improved shift patterns that generate greater work-life balance. It has demonstrated excellent benefits and noticeable improvements for drivers’ health and wellbeing, fatigue levels, absence and their interaction with customers.

In addition, Operations Manager John has forged an extremely effective working partnership with the engineering team, meaning operations and engineering are working even better in unison on site safety, vehicles, near misses, service in and service out. 

The annual National Express Group Values Awards was launched across the National Express Group during 2012. The awards ceremony celebrates and recognises the work of teams and individuals across the global business, which employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide. 

Published 11th June 2019