Sunderland-based Stagecoach in line for national awards

Laura Smith.
Laura Smith.
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Sunderland bus operator Stagecoach North East has been shortlisted in two categories in the industry’s top national awards.

The company has made the finals of the UK Bus Awards after it received nominations for its Sunderland operations for Top National Depot, and Young Manager of the Year for 29-year-old operations manager Laura Smith.

The Sunderland depot, where Stagecoach North East is based, has been shortlisted in recognition of its quality and first-class standards of operation.

In order to reach the finals, Stagecoach North East was required to meet the highest levels, including performance across a wide range of criteria such as engineering standards, punctuality, staff turnover, customer satisfaction, driver quality and pass rates.

In addition to its commitment to maintaining and improving operational standards, the depot has demonstrated its contributions to local and global environment initiatives with its Eco Driver and Green Week programmes.

Staff have also developed a sense of team spirit with popular events such as Green Santa, working within the community to fundraise for local and national charity initiatives such as charity calendars and the national Movember campaign.

Laura has been nominated for demonstrating her management and operational skills, as well as her commitment to the team.

Joining in 2009 as part of the Graduate Training Programme, Leeds-born Laura was previously operations manager for Stagecoach in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, and arrived at the Sunderland depot in September 2014.

Responsible for the operation of 89 buses with a team of 203 drivers around the Wearside area, Laura’s role involves the smooth running of the bus services across Sunderland on a daily basis and leading the team to improve the quality of the services in the area.