Stagecoach bus drivers lead the way in safe and fuel-efficient driving scheme

By Swindon Link - 9 March 2020

Business

Stagecoach’s bus drivers are leading the way in a prestigious global performance measurement programme for the fifth consecutive year.

From a total of 4,494 Stagecoach drivers nationally, 39 drivers in Swindon have been awarded Fleet Elite status and a special badge, under a comprehensive driving safety measurement programme managed by GreenRoad. The safety and telematics system serve professional drivers in the UK, Ireland, Europe, the Middle East, America, Australia and New Zealand.

An impressive 11 of Stagecoach West’s Fleet Elite awardees in Swindon achieved the Gold badge for consistently maintaining their Fleet Elite safe and fuel-efficient driving for three consecutive years, including Gurnam Singh, winner of Stagecoach’s Driver of the Year Award 2019.

In addition, a further 11 Swindon-based drivers achieved the Master Fleet Elite status for maintaining the rating for four or more consecutive years. Nationally, 2,100 have achieved the Master Fleet Elite status which is an increase of 8.7% compared with last year, reflecting the success of Stagecoach’s uncompromising approach to safety and ongoing investment in driver training.

GreenRoad’s safety system has been installed on all Stagecoach vehicles and has proven to be extremely effective in helping drivers improve their skills. Using a simple traffic-light-like LED system on the dashboard, GreenRoad gives drivers instant feedback about their driving manoeuvres, encouraging smoother, safer, and more fuel-efficient driving.

Stagecoach drivers represent almost half of the 9,842 drivers globally who met the Fleet Elite standard in 2018. More Stagecoach employees gained Fleet Elite status than any other bus operator – or any other company – in the worldwide scheme.

To gain Fleet Elite status, drivers must achieve an average of five or fewer events, such as harsh braking or acceleration, per 10 hours of driving over the entire calendar year. In fact, 102 Stagecoach drivers scored zero – a perfect score – during the period.

GreenRoad’s research shows that driving decisions are responsible for roughly one third of fuel spend, and that even experienced drivers can improve their fuel efficiency with the right guidance. To date, the use of GreenRoad’s system, together with the success of Stagecoach’s comprehensive driver training programme, has helped Stagecoach achieve a 3% improvement in its fuel efficiency across its operations.

Rupert Cox, Managing Director at Stagecoach West, commented: “We are incredibly proud of all of our drivers who continue to lead the way to create safer and more eco-friendly roads for our community. It’s fantastic to see so many drivers in the region receive Fleet Elite status and we hope to continue this success in the next year.”

Stagecoach has also supported its multi-million-pound investment in the GreenRoad technology with a dedicated annual driver bonus pot. Employees can earn ‘green points’ for greener driving, which is converted into a cash bonus. In 2018, more than £1.1million in bonus payments were made to Stagecoach drivers.

David Ripstein, CEO at GreenRoad, said: “We congratulate Stagecoach on another exceptional year, with nearly 4,500 employees achieving the demanding Fleet Elite status. This statistic demonstrates the uncompromising approach that Stagecoach takes towards the safety of its customers and the environmental responsibility of all of its operations. We are proud of the contribution that our technology makes to Stagecoach’s sterling record and challenge them to add even more drivers to the Fleet Elite ranks in years to come.”

Each year, the percentage of GreenRoad drivers who achieve Fleet Elite status worldwide is increasing – a testament to the in-cab feedback that embeds good driving habits and encourages drivers to continually improve. This not only improves road safety, leading to lower insurance premiums and reduced accident-related costs, but also improves fuel economy.

Stagecoach has invested more than £1billion over the past 12 years in the acquisition of new vehicles for local communities across the UK, including hybrid, electric, hydrogen and gas buses.

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