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Five stations and five East Midlands Trains employees have received winners awards in this year’s Best Stations Awards. Now in their fourth year, the East Midlands Trains awards celebrate the best of the company’s 89 stations under the categories of Best Small Station, Best Medium Station, Best Large Station and Most Improved station. The awards also include Best Community Partnership and Outstanding Personal Contribution to recognise the employees who work hard to deliver the best service for passengers.
Sheffield remained unbeaten as Best Large Station, picking up this award for the second year running. The excellent customer service delivered at this station has led to a significant increase in customer praise letters and continued high levels of satisfaction in the National Passenger Survey. The judges were also impressed with the range of local initiatives driven by Sheffield station, including major support of the Children’s Hospital and even holding a charity darts challenge with world champion Phil “the Power” Taylor. London St Pancras station was runner-up in this category for the second year.
Best Medium Station was awarded to Loughborough. Following the completion of the £8 million improvement scheme in 2012, the station team has worked hard to provide an enhanced service to customers and delivered outstanding satisfaction results, cut station-related delays and launched partnerships with the local community including the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) and local authorities. East Midlands Parkway was runner-up.
Melton Mowbray received the award for Best Small Station for the second year running. The judges were impressed with the committment and dedication and excellent customer service provided by the small team at Melton Mowbray. The judges also commented on the improved cleanliness of the station and the enhanced and improved waiting facilities available. Matlock was runner-up in this category.
Most improved station was awarded to Matlock, where structural improvements including the launch of a new visitor information service were complemented by the excellent teamwork by the station volunteers, the Derwent Valley Community Rail Partnership and other local partners which all helped to deliver a winning station. Matlock Bath was runner-up.
Longton station won the Community Partnership Award. This station was praised for the wide ranging nature of community involvement at this station including community events, a partnership with the local Tesco supermarket and getting local guides and brownies involved in gardening to brighten up the station. The judges felt this station was particularly worthy of recognition as the improvements over the last year have been very evident and the environment has been transformed for station users. The runners-up award in this category went to Belper.
Two East Midlands Trains’ station employees were given a joint winners award for their Outstanding Personal Contribution, with ten other employees receiving a highly commended award. Gary Smedley, Travel Advisor at Nottingham was recognised for his commitment to the company, both during and outside of works time. Gary has been instrumental in creating and delivering a number of internal films in his own time to help brief staff and highlight new company initiatives. Nicky Baxter from Sheffield also received a winners award for her willingness to help passengers, always with pride and a smile on her face. Nicky has received numerous letters of praise from customers, with customers commenting that they had “received fantastic service from her”. Dave Carlisle from Derby was awarded runner-up.
Stuart Scott, Senior Conductor at Lincoln and Cheryl Parkin from East Midlands Trains’ Head Office in Derby also received awards for their support to the stations team. Winner Stuart helped to ensure that his local station (Gainsborough Lea Road) was clear of snow and ice throughout the winter months, often working extra hours early in the morning and late at night in addition to his normal role. Cheryl works hard to make sure that stations consistently have all the up to date posters and timetables to keep passengers informed.
Andy Moore, Head of Stations for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’re pleased to have been able to recognise so many stations and people in this year’s awards. As the first point of contact our customers have when they travel with East Midlands Trains, it’s vital that our employees provide a station they take pride in as well as delivering great customer service.
“We have some great stations and it’s always a tough task choosing the winners, but we were pleased to see such a range of high quality entries again this year and our congratulations go to all the winners.”
David Beer of Passenger Focus, who helped to judge the awards, said: “We know from National Passenger Survey feedback that excellent front-line service is crucial. It is important to say ‘thank-you’ on behalf of passengers when this is done well. The best station awards celebrate the high standard of achievement being set at these stations, which help to drive improvements to punctuality, information during delays and station environments.
“We hope that rewarding best practice and positive passenger experiences in this way will provide even more incentive to improve the experience for more passengers across the rail network.”
The awards are made by a panel of judges comprising East Midlands Trains’ directors and senior managers and representation from Passenger Focus.
For more information on East Midlands Trains, visit eastmidlandstrains.co.uk or for further information on Passenger Focus and the National Passenger Survey visit passengerfocus.org.uk/research/national-passenger-survey-introduction