A BUS firm is celebrating after landing an award for its campaign to promote safe travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The “Build Back Better” award at the UK Bus Awards was specially created to reward initiatives to help the nation’s bus operators recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – and was one of the most keenly contested categories among bus firms this year.

Awards judges praised Transdev for “its extensive, positive messaging about travelling by bus, notably its ‘Clean, Safe, Ready to Go’ campaign launched in May 2020, which saw Transdev become the first UK bus operator to produce a two-minute video following an everyday journey as seen through the eyes of a customer, showing extra cleaning in place to keep everyone safe.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “This award is dedicated to the huge effort of our colleagues, who - over the past two years in particular - have kept our customers moving whilst they needed us most. We have never lost our smile, our vision or our commitment to deliver each day, nor our determination to strengthen our long-term future as we continue to build a growing, innovative and customer-centric business.

“Our Clean, Safe, Ready to Go campaign summed up our positive approach against the unjustified perceptions of bus travel. It was more than just five words - it defined our way of doing things as we reassured our customers, and we are proud that it became a benchmark of how to operate and present yourself in a pandemic.

“Throughout this time, we also never forgot about how we approached the future. We have grown our business by 20 per cent over the past two years and have helped create a positive future for the bus across the north of England.

“It’s a huge honour to be part of a team that wins awards even in these often strange and challenging times. They’re incredible – and they all completely deserve this recognition on the national stage, with my appreciation - as ever - on a job well done.”

Throughout the pandemic, Transdev has saluted the North’s key workers, including hospital and retail staff alongside its own drivers and support staff, with its series of ‘Buses for Heroes’. Created in co-operation with local and regional newspapers, each bus features images of people nominated by proud friends and relatives for helping the local community through such challenging times – a high-profile visual reminder to all of their vital role.

This year’s UK Bus Awards were presented remotely by video in a ceremony co-hosted by BBC News presenter Jane Hill and BBC Breakfast weather forecaster Carol Kirkwood.

A ‘Build Back Better’ award for the coach industry was won by Greater Manchester-based operator Belle Vue Coaches.

With its headquarters in Harrogate, Transdev provides bus services from seven Yorkshire locations including Malton, York, Harrogate, Keighley, Bradford, Huddersfield and Elland near Halifax. Transdev also runs local buses from depots in Burnley and Blackburn in Lancashire, and Rochdale in Greater Manchester.