VIDEO: National award for bus service with character

A bus service in Skegness has gone from picking up passengers to picking up honours following success in a national awards scheme.

The Skegness Seasiders, run by Stagecoach East Midlands, has been named Marketing Initiative of the Year at the UK Bus Awards.

Award for the Seasiders team. Pictured, from left, Robert Jack, managing editor passenger transport, with Stagecoach East Midland's Michelle Hargreaves, managing director, and Louise Wright, publicity officer, and Sir Peter Hendy, commissioner of transport for London.

Award for the Seasiders team. Pictured, from left, Robert Jack, managing editor passenger transport, with Stagecoach East Midland's Michelle Hargreaves, managing director, and Louise Wright, publicity officer, and Sir Peter Hendy, commissioner of transport for London.

The service launched in spring, with the support of the Skegness Standard, providing residents and holidaymakers with six open-top double-decker buses each transformed into individual characters.

It received its distinction at a glitzy ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, in London, last week.

Michelle Hargreaves, Stagecoach East Midlands managing director, said: “We’re thrilled. We want to do our bit to put Skegness on the map – and this honour is part of that.”

She added: “The award is testament to the great work of our staff in Skegness and how the Seasiders have been embraced by people locally and holidaymakers alike.”

Stagecoach teamed up with the area’s attractions, local authorities and chamber of commerce to develop the service, which was created in partnership with public relations and marketing agency Astley Media.

One bus, Salty, was designed and named by Skegness youngster Poppy Bagnall.

The firm reports that since the introduction of the Skegness Seasiders, passenger numbers have increased by more than 20 per cent on the seasonal route, which connects Skegness and Ingoldmells on service number 3 between April and September.

The Skegness Seasiders service has also been shortlisted by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in its annual regional awards.