There are lots of people out there that we work with to help make us the really good bus company. We’d like to tell you about some of them...
one cog in a bigger transport service wheel
Working together with other transport providers and agencies means that we all work better to provide you with a class-leading public transport network.
The councils across trentbarton land are key in enabling us to provide you with an efficient bus service. They help to ensure good provision of bus stops, shelters to protect you from the elements and bus priority systems to keep you moving quickly through busy traffic, as well as arranging all-operator ticketing deals and the free concessionary pass schemes.
A strong partnership between trentbarton and your local councils means that you benefit from the very best bus use experience from beginning to end, and has led to brand new bus stations in Derby and Mansfield, better waiting facilities in other locations, bus lanes, clever traffic signals that guide buses through busy traffic hotspots, better information at stops (including live departure boards) and many more vital innovations. Yes, there could be more and we’re keen to work together to do more.
All this comes together with our commitment to providing the very best bus services possible, to make for an efficient, user-friendly, customer-focused public transport system. In other words, they do their bit, we do our bit, we co-ordinate our efforts – and the customer (you!) wins.
other bus companies
In most parts of the UK bus companies run in a deregulated and contestable environment. Or, in simpler terms, they compete with one and other. We’re no exception in trentbarton land, with Nottingham in particular having one of the most competitive transport systems in any UK city.
This is a good thing for customers as it means that each company needs to provide an exceptional service in order to attract you to using them over a competitor – and at trentbarton we continue to work hard to provide you with an outstanding service that you will choose to use.
In some cases, however, it works best for customers when competing companies come together to improve the public transport network for all users, whichever bus service provider best suits their needs. For example, trentbarton joins together with other local bus companies to offer you the Kangaroo and Spectrum tickets in Nottingham City and Derby City, which can be used on any operator and can offer better value for people whose journeys involve using competing transport providers.
We also partner with Arriva on the X38 and Stagecoach on pronto, accepting each other’s tickets, painting our buses the same colour for ease of recognition and co-ordinating times for ease of use.
We pride ourselves on keeping you connected to other forms of transport – and that even includes planes! If you’re jetting off and want a cheap, reliable and environmentally friendly way to travel to the airport, skylink is waiting in the wings to get you to East Midlands Airport, on time and in style.
Our airport collaboration goes back many years and is one of our most productive, successful and enduring. What started off as a shuttle bus that just ran to a limited timetable, largely paid for by other sources, is now a commercial 24/7 bus network connecting the Airport with the three major cities throughout the region, with no expense from the public purse.
We provide the team of friendly skylink drivers, the Wifi- and luggage rack-fitted, comfy skylink buses running round the clock, and East Midlands Airport provide the will to promote a smart, environmentally way of travelling to their facility. The number of people using skylink continues to grow each year, and we continue to meet to see where else we can take the partnership. We really do make for a heady combination - that’s right - aiming for the skies (sorry).
Our customers’ wants and needs really do form the basis of all decisions made at trentbarton – one such example being when the NET tram arrived in Nottingham in 2004, giving public transport users more choice as to how they travel in the city.
Our choice was whether we would compete against the tram, or work together with the tram to create the best possible overall network for customers, and, for us, that was a no-brainer.
As research showed that some people in Hucknall wanted to use the tram to get into Nottingham but the stop was too far a walk, we introduced the first commercial bus-tram feeder route called connect. This meant that, with one ticket, users could use both bus and tram, making using the new tram network an affordable and viable option for those who didn’t live directly on the line of route. We continue this important relationship as the tram network develops, making it easier to access and providing you, the trentbarton customer, with fuss-free travel options.
Train travel works best when it’s supported by reliable, efficient connections – and that’s where we come in. We work with East Midlands Trains to offer seamless end to end journeys for customers, from bus to train and back again, for ultimate convenience.
We appreciate that travellers like having just one ticket to use on both bus and train, which is why we’re part of PlusBus – an add-on to the train ticket that allows free travel in the local area surrounding main stations. We have also added East Midlands Airport – virtually – to the national rail network. You can buy a train ticket to the airport and use it on the bus to the terminal doors, all on one ticket. And to make your journeys even easier, we also ensure our timetables are available at as many train stations as possible, keeping you informed of your really good bus connections.
When working with transport partners we keep in mind the common aim, which is making public transport an affordable, efficient and more environmentally friendly alternative to using the car. For this reason we agreed to accept train tickets free of charge on certain busy commuter routes, during the month-long closure of Nottingham station – ensuring that customers continued to have public transport options by supporting other providers. Stay tuned to see what else we come up with!
all customers are different
Putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes really helps us to understand your needs, so at trentbarton we work with a number of great charities and organisations in the local area to enable us to offer the best possible service for all.
We have worked with the Derby Mental Heath Action Group towards a common goal of breaking down one of the last big taboos in society. One in four of us will have a mental health issue at some time in our lives, and our drivers undergo role-play training to enable them to better understand the key issues involved.
This caring organisation has helped us to improve our driver training in the specialist area of the issues surrounding sight impairment. We use role-play techniques and explore what we can do to help customers when using our buses, in order to ensure that our services are accessible to the blind and sight impaired.
Similarly, the RNIB also help us in developing our training so that staff can gain the experience and understanding of those with sight problems needed to offer a high quality service to this user. We are proud to have been recognised for our work in this area with an ‘exemplar’ award from the RNIB and will continue to work with them going forward to develop more best practice. Read more about our work with them here.
We are working with Home Instead to help broaden our understanding of the issues surrounding dementia, so that our staff are able to better access users’ needs and have the tools to help when required. This again translates through to our training and refresher training programmes with our driving teams.
Access Training understands both our business needs and our philosophy, and as such is trentbarton’s trusted partner in the provision of training which is tailored to meet those needs. Together we have improved the development of our people, and will continue to design and implement the very best training programmes for our staff going forward.
charity begins at home
There are some very worthy good causes that benefit local people throughout trentbarton land and we like to support them.
The LNAA came out on top in a poll of when we asked our team to pick a winner from a shortlist of around a dozen worthy causes nominated by staff and customers. This important life saving service is responsible for saving many lives on the roads and in communities we serve. The service, which is celebrating its 21st birthday, does not receive any government or lottery funds and needs to raise around £1.8 million a year to keep flying.
Our team voted to support Help For Heroes as our charity of the year for 2014. It’s not difficult to see why. Their mission to provide an enduring national network of support for our wounded and their families. They aim to inspire and enable those who have made sacrifices on our behalf to achieve their full potential. Given that a large number of our staff have military backgrounds, it is a charity and cause that means so much to many of us here at trentbarton.
Our charity of the year in 2013 was the Lewis Mighty Fund - one close to the hearts of many across the East Midlands, and one that we’re honoured to be involved with.
The Lewis Mighty Fund was created in the memory of Lewis Mighty, the Derby youngster who sadly died in May 2012 from the aggressive childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma. Lewis was treated by the very special people of the Nottingham hospitals and the fund continues to raise awareness of the disease and help the Nottingham Hospitals Trust.
Over £8,000 was raised for the Lewis Mighty Fund in 2013, with our staff pulling out all the stops to get local people to part with pennies and pounds for this worthy cause – not least our red arrow driver Barney who raised £1000 by having his head shaved. Another especially proud moment for us was when Jaime Mighty, Lewis’s mum, cut the cake at our trentbarton 100 celebrations.
You may have noticed the special ‘Namesake’ inscriptions which appear on many of our buses. Namesake is a charity appeal run by a dear friend of the company, Heather Ward. By pledging £100 or more to the appeal, sponsors can nominate the dedication which they would like to appear on the Namesake inscription. This could be their own name, a friend’s name, a member of their family or even a business or community service.
This inscription will then be seen by hundreds of thousands of customers over the following 12 months. Every penny of the £100 subscription goes directly to the Derby Breast Cancer Scanner Appeal.
Thanks to the kindness of so many people, Namesake has now raised over £100,000 for the appeal. If you would like to apply - find out more here.
Every year, we're all encouraged to pop on a poppy in memory and in respect of those who gave their lives for our freedom. We like to take things a stage further, and each year you'll see buses on our busiest routes wear giant poppies as trentbarton's official show of support, coupled with a donation to the local British Legion branch so they can continue to provide welfare to armed forces, veterans and their families both home and abroad.
As well as connecting local communities across trentbarton land, we make it our mission to get involved. Great relations between customers and drivers mean that we have a strong bond with the people and areas we serve, and for this reason we’re continually looking at ways to give back to the community around us.
As well as our commitment to supporting local charities, we also try to get involved in as many small ways as possible, to the causes that our important to you, our customer. This could mean sponsoring a local kids’ football team, offering raffle prizes for a local cause, or letting Mr MANGO and his bus loose on an event to provide extra fun.
Of course, we also run our own community events, such as trentbarton’s Big 100th Birthday Party during our centenary year, and many local people can enjoy a brilliant, free day out, all in aid of the Lewis Mighty Fund. But we don’t like to hog the limelight – we also promote, support and sponsor other local events, from huge festivals such as Download and Splendour, to local fairs, fetes, parades and carnivals. If we think an event is a good thing for our customers and the community, we want to get involved and shout about it!
pride in our communities
As your local bus company we take pride in the local community. We’re constantly assessing local needs, looking for ways to help and employ local staff and service providers to boost the immediate economy.
Local businesses, like trentbarton, are the life blood of a community, and we believe it’s our responsibility to support our fellow local businesses when we can. Our super commuter travel scheme promotes bus travel to work, helping employers to attract people into work and giving employees a great deal on a hassle-free, more environmentally friendly and cheaper commuter alternative than taking the car.
As well as helping you get to work, we also want to help you make the most of your leisure time – which is why trentbarton has teamed up with local venues including sports teams, theatres and more, to offer a very special discounted deal on leisure travel fares which we call zigzag play.
Meanwhile, those who benefit from using our smartcard ticketless system MANGO can, as well as getting reduced fares and fuss-free travel, also get great discounts and deals from over 100 local businesses involved in our MANGO moments incentives scheme. We get to support local traders, they get to encourage new business and you, the customer, gets a great deal – it makes sense all round!
Local media can give communities a voice, and that’s one we’re keen to listen to. We have a great relationship with BBC Derby and BBC Nottingham, and are regulars on their shows, allowing us to understand and get to grips with issues affecting local transport and promote bus use in a balanced way.
We thrive on our relationship with the local media as they allow us to stay in touch with our customers at large, keep up on our toes and continue to push us to maintain, and expand further, our high standards.
Wetherspoons pubs are a real local favourite, with several providing great value food and drink across trentbarton land. We’ve teamed up with them to bring you some fantastic additional discounts on meals with MANGO Moments and a Wetherspoons by trentbarton bus map to help you plan your trips. Together we promote safe drinking and the bus as an easy solution for getting home. Wetherspoons and trentbarton are such good friends that the pubs even made us our very own MANGO beer, which was on sale locally to help promote the partnership.
Our hospitals are a vital community resource, and easy, affordable access to them is essential for patients, staff and visitors. We ensure that our bus network serves local hospitals well, with many easy, direct links to the busiest hospitals in trentbarton land. We also make sure that we supply high quality information so that users are aware of these services, and can identify them easily.
In addition, we also support local hospitals where we can through our sponsorship work and the Namesake charity.
Such is the strength of our relationship with Royal Derby Hospital, we run a dedicated, frequent Royal Derby bus to connect the two main NHS sites with the city centre, taking the cars of many staff and visitors away from busy roads surrounding the hospital.
Students are an important part of the trentbarton land community, and we aim to serve them as well as possible by promoting bus travel across each of the local campuses, offering deals on travel and providing 24/7 safe and reliable services. We don’t forget about the huge army of staff here too, and work with the University to promote value for money deals of local travel.
We’re also proud to sponsor University of Nottingham events, including the fresher’s fair – welcoming new students and arming them with the information that they need to get around easily from day one!
Nottingham BID is one of the key promoters of Nottingham and has a keen interest in developing the city’s economy – as well as publicising the city as an important tourist destination. We wholeheartedly support the work that Nottingham BID does to keep the largest of the trentbarton land cities great, and will continue to promote and support events where possible.
This organisation promotes the independent retailers, bars, restaurants and other business in the historic Cathedral Quarter area of Derby. At trentbarton we’re keen to support local high streets, as they are what make towns and cities so individual, and will maintain them as really great places to work, shop, eat and enjoy.
Our Cathedral Quarter MANGO card is a joint initiative, and allows workers in the area to get great deals on both bus travel and special offers within this special part of the city centre.
We’re offering support to this emerging group, who represent the traders of Mansfield. Working together we hope to help promote Mansfield as a great place to visit and spend money – especially now the brand new bus station makes getting to and from the town so much easier and more pleasant.
We're a local team player - but we just can't nail our colours to the mast of only one team in trentbartonland. Instead, we join forces with many of our local football teams, cricket teams and, yes, even ice hockey, such is the depth of sporting competition across the region.
We do our bit to encourage fans to get to the game the smart and safe way, by bus, using zigzag play - giving ticket holders an exclusive discount on match days. This helps to relieve our local towns and cities of traffic at 'game time' and means that people to not have to depend on the car and expensive parking charges. That means everyone's a winner.
Town Centre Partnerships
As a local bus company, with depots in Langley Mill and Sutton, we know that it’s not all about the big cities and towns in trentbarton land. We join in with local business partnerships to offer support in enabling small towns to thrive.
We also link up with local shopping centres to remind shoppers that they don’t always need to head for Derby or Nottingham to get what they need. One example is our recent featuring of market traders at Sutton’s Idlewells Centre, on the back of our threes buses (which we’re sure got them some stick from customers about looking like the back end of a bus!). We also took part in the huge Belper Food Festival and have provided MANGO cards for local workers as part of the Stapleford Town Partnership, to name but a few examples. In addition, we continue to promote local attractions, shops, eateries and more with our MANGO moments offers and destination guides.
It’s important that we also remember that workers need to get around trentbarton land too – as without them there would be no shops, attractions or eateries to visit! We make sure that our buses are accessible and that local workers get the best deal by travelling by bus.
Because we are local, we like to shop local – which means using local suppliers across trentbarton land wherever possible. From printers to fairground rides, engineering equipment to legal advice – if we can get it local and of good quality within the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire areas, then we do.
sharing and listening
We’re proud to be the really good bus company, but we’re always striving to be even better. Sharing and looking at best practice is a key factor in ensuring that high standards are maintained, and exceeded – and representing our customers to encourage top national decision makers to care more about the bus is important.
Their mission is to get the best possible deal for the passenger, with a strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research. Together with Passenger Focus we work together with other passenger groups, national and local governments to secure journey improvements.
Passenger Focus look at keys issues such as fares and tickets, quality and level of sevices and investment. They also help passengers resolve complaints in bus travel and the wider public transport industry.
As the national, independent body representing local bus passengers, Bus Users UK has a vital role in ensuring that the voice of those travelling by bus is well heard. We regularly meet with Bus Users UK at the highest level to ensure that trentbarton and our customers are represented nationally, and both us and them appreciate the key issues.
Together with Bus Users UK we promote Bus Users surgeries across the East Midlands where our managers can meet customers and non-users in city and town centres to gain valuable face to face feedback. This then influences our decisions going forward, ensuring that you, the most important person in our bus company, is kept firmly in the loop.
Ten Percent Club
This is a gathering of key people in the UK bus industry, which fosters innovative thinking and seeks to continually improve the quality of service which should, ultimately, increase the number of bus users. We take our seat at the table to add to the improvements in bus transport, relevant technology and exciting design, and ensure that these reflect that wants and needs of our customers.
One of our core aims at trentbarton is getting more cars off the road for the benefit of the environment. This organisation helps with that on a national level, influencing the government and the media to ensure that bus travel is represented as the greener transport option that it is.
In collaboration with them we set up a free jobseekers trial in January 2013, giving local unemployed people better access to jobs and catching the attention of decision makers nationwide.
The clever statisticians at Greener Journeys have also provided information that supports what we already know – that good bus services are integral to local economies – and the organisation also powers big impact promotions to help change people’s perceptions of bus travel, and open it up as a viable travel option for increasing numbers of users.
Our employees are a huge part of the trentbarton success story, and we know the value of having the right people for the job. We are represented on the committee of the Young Bus Managers’ Network, giving us direct access to new thinking and best practice, and enabling us to encourage and support career development in our sector.
Our key seat at this national body representing the bus industry to government ensures that we have a voice at the highest level, and the ability to support and broach key issues that affect the core of our business, our customers.
Local MPs and Councillors
Our links with local MPs and Councillors are important as they allow us to forge yet another link with the communities that we serve. We can also utilise their links to government to make sure that bus users are represented, and that any decisions taken by those in political power are well-informed and for the good of passengers.
really good people to work with
We can’t take all the credit for our work. To be the really good bus company you have to work with some really good suppliers too. This ultimately means we give you, our customers, the highest quality service possible.
To keep our buses looking their best we invest in a specialist cleaning service. Buses are cleaned and washed by night, as well as being valeted in between journeys at key locations across the network. We spend twice the industry average on making sure our fleet is spotless.
This design company has a transport niche – meaning that it really knows its stuff. They are the architects of many trentbarton branding initiatives, including our buses’ individual identities and maintaining that across all brand materials and marketing.
We’re proud to have been firm partners with Best Impressions for 10 years, and think it’s brilliant that they are as passionate about public transport as we are. Their design work helps us to create buses that customers are proud to use – and that encourage non-users to give us a try. Every bus needs to be a moving advert for how brilliant bus travel can be, and Best Impressions helps us to create that through their innovative ‘stand-out’ work.
init is the worldwide leading supplier of Intelligent Transportation Systems and Electronic Ticketing Systems, and they’ve furnished trentbarton with both! The technology geniuses at init helped to develop our pioneering MANGO ticketing system, the first of its kind in the UK, as well as powering our live departure time and bus tracking system. They represent the best of German engineering, yet have put down some local roots in Nottingham.
One of our bus features that we’re really proud of is the on-board free Wi-Fi, and Icomera is our chosen supplier. We were the first in the UK to offer free Wi-Fi on buses or coaches, when we introduced the concept on red arrow, and we’ve now rolled it out on over 75 different buses across our fleet. Free Wi-Fi means journeys no longer need to be wasted time and the ‘getting there’ can be as entertaining or as productive as you like!
Conserving fuel makes sense, both in terms of saving money and doing our bit to go green and help save the planet too. That's why we've worked extensively with Microlise, based just a mile away from our Heanor Offices in Eastwood to develop a telematic system in all of our buses and coaches. This helps the driver of the vehicle make the most efficient use of fuel, and gives you - the customer - a smoother, safer journey with us.