UK Bus Awards 2023: Celebrating environmental innovation in the bus business

Since their inception in 1993, these awards have been on a mission to recognise, reward and inspire a sense of excellence within the UK bus industry. We were thrilled to once again sponsor the Environment award category at this year's event as this topic holds significant importance, not only for us at CitySwift but also for the broader industry. 

The winners truly exemplify the sector's unwavering commitment to sustainability.

At the presentation ceremony in London, CitySwift Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Alan Farrelly unveiled the winner of the Gold Award of the prestigious Environment Innovation Award.

This went to operator National Express West Midlands and EV battery supplier Zenobē for their ground-breaking Electric Transportation as a Service initiative. This pioneering collaboration saw National Express West Midlands partnering with battery specialist Zenobē, resulting in the largest single EV bus fleet transaction at the time – a fleet comprising one hundred and thirty electric double-decker buses.

Zenobē's comprehensive turnkey solution covered everything from new vehicles and onboard battery replacement to charging infrastructure, unique charging optimisation software, parts, and full operational support. 

A noteworthy aspect of the initiative is the innovative use of a second-life battery made from recycled bus battery cells. This battery stores solar power generated from panels on the depot roof which is then released to supplement peak charging demand and alleviate grid pressure. 

The judges were not only impressed by the environmental benefits but also by the commitment to sharing data and insights for the benefit of other operators.

The Silver Award was won by the growing Scottish bus operator McGill’s Bus Group for their "Journey to Net Zero" project. Aside from substantial investments in electric vehicles, McGill’s stood out to the category judges for its comprehensive training on the most environmentally effective way to operate its new electric buses.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority earned the Bronze Award for its outstanding efforts with "Hybus," a scheme that played a pivotal role in introducing a second vehicle supplier to the hydrogen bus market in the UK.

Well done to the three award winners, but we must also mention the other four finalists:

  • Electrification of Aberdeen and Scotstoun depots, First Bus Scotland
  • Electric drivetrain upgrade and solar panels, First York
  • Greener depots, Stagecoach London
  • Service 1, Stagecoach West Scotland

Heartfelt congratulations to all involved in these projects! They really highlight the power of collaborative efforts to reduce global emissions from transport, strengthen public transport networks, and encourage a shift towards public transportation over private car use.