Brighton and Hove Buses celebrated a triumph today after winning a top industry award.
The bus company has been named City Operator of the Year for the second year in a row at the UK Bus Awards.
Managing director Roger French said that the award was a tribute to his hard-working staff.
More than 200 companies entered the awards this year.
The company was also joint runner-up for the big prize – the UK Bus Operator of the Year title.
The awards were presented this afternoon at the Hilton Park Lane hotel in London.
The judges said: “Brighton and Hove has an enviable reputation in the local community it serves and has successfully worked in partnership to consistently grow passenger journeys for over 15 years.
“The company has a passion for excellence in customer service, operates a modern fleet running frequent easy-to-use services at value for money prices with great staff and excellent marketing.”
The guests included the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes Norman Baker, who is now Transport Minister in the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition government.
Roger French, managing director of Brighton and Hove Buses, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted.
“It’s a great reflection of the hard work that all our staff put in day in day out and the support from our passengers for which we are very grateful.
“We are also appreciative of the partnership work from colleagues at the city council and neighbouring county councils.”
John Owen, chairman of the UK Bus Awards, said: “Despite the harsh economic climate and other pressures we have again been hugely impressed by the commitment to quality and innovation shown by bus companies and their partners.
“This means that the industry is well placed to meet its twin aims of increasing passenger numbers and encouraging car users on to public transport, so important if environmental objectives are to be achieved.
“Each successive year brings a tougher job for the judges to select a shortlist for each award, let alone a winner and runner-up – testimony to how far the bus industry across the UK has come in the 15 years of the awards.”
The awards are intended to recognise and reward excellence and good practice in the bus industry.
They are also used to try to spread best practice.
The winners were chosen only after the judges employed mystery travellers to test the entrants on the shortlist in each category.