National Express UK Coach

The route to improvement

National Express UK Coach is the largest operator of scheduled coach services in Britain and operates high-frequency services linking around 1,000 destinations. It is also the UK partner in the Eurolines network, serving over 500 destinations across Europe and North Africa. The business currently employs over 1,700 people in various roles, including transport hub operations, retail, customer service, vehicle engineering and admin.

"Good safety is about looking after people and coming up with ways to do things safely and not putting barriers in the way. It’s about cutting through jargon to give colleagues the confidence and enthusiasm to make a difference. We wanted to engage and empower our employees and that’s why we chose Managing Safely.

"We realised there was no value in training by previous training providers and therefore wanted to engage our workforce with courses that would enhance knowledge and improve competence at all levels. So we selected IOSH as an international organisation and Managing Safely as an internationally recognised level of training.

"We wanted to motivate, educate and train so that everyone could recognise and deal with hazards, as well as challenge unsafe behaviours. Initially, the intention was to engage the senior executive team in sensible risk management through a pragmatic, proportionate risk-based approach. Following the course, our Managing Director instructed that our entire management team be trained in Managing Safely.

"In 2014, recorded vehicle collisions reduced by 15.5%, passenger injury accidents by 16.3%, employee injury accidents by 43.8% and lost-time injuries by 13%. Since then, we’ve continued to work towards our strategy of reducing vehicle collisions and injury accidents by 50% over five years and we’re on track to achieve this target. We’ve also made cost savings: the overall cost of UK Coach safety in 2015 improved year-on-year by 146,000. In addition, the average repair cost per vehicle collision has reduced from 1,797 to 1,216 and our insurance premiums have decreased.

"Our safety culture shift has been progressive and our results are cumulative from changes implemented to drive improvement throughout our business. We’re relentless in our efforts - and we’ll continue our five-year safety strategy by exploring new vehicle technology and continuing to invest in training."

Craig Barker, National Express, Birmingham HQ and Nationwide sites

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