Stagecoach South Wales has been shortlisted in this year’s UK Bus Awards for two categories. The first category is the for Top National Bus Depot, Stagecoach Porth depot has been announced as a finalist for the flagship award. Porth depot was nominated for the following;

Stagecoach Porth depot is located in the heart of Rhondda Cynon Taf. The depot is the second largest in the South Wales operation with four managers, two admin staff, 132 drivers and 16 in the engineering team who operate 20 routes across Rhondda Cynon Taf, Cardiff, Caerphilly and Bridgend.

When you visit Porth depot, you can feel the team spirit as soon as you walk through the door, the duty managers are always there to welcome you in with a friendly smile. You can hear the chatter from the canteen where the driving and engineering staff congregate on their breaks, they share stories and jokes like friends rather than colleagues or check in on each other and offer support if someone is having a bad day.

South Wales Argus: Kevin Mathias and Andrea Kavanagh, Porth depot were named as Stagecoach UK community championsKevin Mathias and Andrea Kavanagh, Porth depot were named as Stagecoach UK community champions (Image: Stagecoach)

The operations manager and fleet engineer are often found in the canteen or the engineering workshop, speaking directly to staff and listening to feedback. Porth proved their resilience and togetherness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the challenges faced by the industry especially concerning recruitment, Porth has not lost a single mile for ‘no driver’ for the last four years.

The secret to their success is pulling together with a united ‘can do’ mentality and culture.

The team spirit doesn’t stop in the depot, they care about their community, the Porth staff have supported many charities and organisations over the years including in 2019, when they collected dozens of parcels for LATCH Welsh children’s cancer charity and delivered the presents to the children on the wards before Christmas.

South Wales Argus: Porth team donating presents they collected to children's charity LATCHPorth team donating presents they collected to children's charity LATCH (Image: Stagecoach)

In 2021, they collected and donated over 13.8 kilos of food worth more than £200 to the Rhondda food bank to help families affected by the pandemic and rising living costs. Kevin, an electrician, and Andrea, a leading driver, were named Stagecoach UK community champions in 2022 for their outstanding contributions to their communities.

The second category is for Unsung Hero; Alison Jones, engineering administrator for Stagecoach South Wales, has been announced as a finalist for her outstanding contribution to the engineering department.

Alison was nominated for the following: Alison Wood joined the Stagecoach South Wales team in June 2022 working in Blackwood depot as an Engineering administration officer. Her role at the time was processing invoices, inputting data and assisting with ordering stock and parts for the engineering maintenance team.

Shortly after she started, there were vacancies in Porth and Caerphilly depots, Alison was eager to help her colleagues and stepped up to the challenge by managing the stores offices for both depots in addition to her existing role. Alison very quickly became a valued member of the engineering teams across South Wales with her can-do attitude, passion to get things done in an efficient and timely manner, great communication and cheery disposition.

South Wales Argus: Alison Wood, unsung heroAlison Wood, unsung hero (Image: Stagecoach)

In 2023, Stagecoach rolled out a new engineering and accounting system across all operating companies. The roll out required a significant amount of data and invoice transfer from the existing system to the new system by a strict deadline.

John Edmunds, engineering director for Stagecoach South Wales was so impressed with Alison’s performance, he asked her to lead on the project for the biggest areas. Alison worked for around six weeks on the project, working long days and weekends to ensure that the rollout was a success, completed by the deadline and with a smooth transition for all departments. Alison is a brilliant role model for women in engineering, she breathes the Stagecoach values ‘we’re in in together’ and ‘value for all’ by going the extra mile to help her colleagues and to ensure success for the business."

Martin Gibbon, managing director for Stagecoach South Wales said: “The shortlisted nominations are a true testament to Stagecoach South Wales' hard work, commitment to supporting local communities and fostering a positive working culture. 

"Our great people are a driving force for good in their communities and demonstrating that they are always proud to serve, these nominations are a credit to their continued dedication. We wish our finalists the best of luck in the awards presentation in November.”

The awards will be presented at Troxy in London on Tuesday, November 28. You can read the full list of nominations on the UK Bus Awards website:

Shortlist nominations   

Top National Bus Depot:  Porth, Stagecoach South Wales  

Unsung Hero: Alison Wood, Stagecoach South Wales