Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancs was this week awarded a "Silver" at the prestigious UK Bus Awards in what is described as a "glittering" ceremony in London's Docklands. The award, for "Sustained Marketing Excellence", was won for the company's marketing of sevice 555 which links Lancaster to Kendal and the Lake District.
Here's what the judges had to say:
Winner, Silver Award
'Lakes Connection' 555 service - Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire
"The Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire 555 service operates between Lancaster and Keswick, through the Lake District Park National Park, serving key destinations such as Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere. Tourism in the Lakes presents a drastic change in population during the summer months. This requires the marketing of the advantages of the service to those in the local area, bringing people in from Lancaster and Keswick, but also to stand out and attract those unfamiliar with the area who may be visiting for the day or weekend. Sustained, consistent and clear marketing of the service is a necessity to its success, as its route, frequency, cost and experience need to be communicated to a new audience each and every season. All social media platforms are used to promote the service, as well as more conventional leaflets and roadside publicity. The launch of 12 new vehicles in July last year was an opportunity taken to fully utilise the bus to promote the 555 service through eye catching branding and Stagecoach is continually looking for new ways to promote the service to encourage the public to leave the car at home or holiday accommodation."
In what they described as a well written, model entry, the judges thought this was an example of best practice for an inter-urban bus route. Sustained investment and marketing with plans for future development should secure a future for this service."
Stagecoach nationally won nine awards, five silver and four bronze although the smaller Go-Ahead Group, which runs buses on Tyneside, East Anglia and the south of England won no fewer that 12, including six golds.