CALL centre worker Charlotte Tuplip has a ticket to ride.
Charlotte, who works at npower’s site in Rainton Bridge, was presented with a free, six-month bus pass, worth more than £500, by Sunderland City Council, park management firm Goodmans and travel company Go North East, after becoming the business park’s 750,000th bus passenger.
“I wasn’t expecting to be met off the bus by the boss holding a bottle of champagne – it was a complete shock,” said Charlotte, who had travelled to work from Dunston in Gateshead.
“I’ve always got the bus and, after today, I always will.”
The partnership between the council and businesses began in May 2010, when npower centralised a number of its regional offices in the vacant building at Rainton Bridge, which had originally been earmarked for Northern Rock.
Buses are used by 18.5 per cent of the energy-supplier’s employees, considerably higher than the national average of 11 per cent for commuters.
Gareth Pickles, npower customer services director, said: “Thanks to regular reports on daily passenger numbers, we have been able to calculate that Charlotte was our lucky 750,000th passenger. We’re committed to offering sustainable options for our teams here, and it’s brilliant to see almost a fifth of our people take advantage of this greener method of transportation.’
Coun Michael Mordey, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member with portfolio for city services, added: “This is a perfect example of partners working together to make employment sites more accessible, by providing transport alternatives to suit the travelling needs of the customer.”