BARROW'S bus depot has been recognised as simply the best.

Stagecoach has awarded its Barrow depot as the top-performing operations department within its Cumbria & North Lancashire operating company.

The award takes into account each key factors including management of budgets and numbers of complaints across the year.

Willie McPhail, operations manager in Barrow, said: “I was as surprised as anybody, because this is the first time Stagecoach has done this, we didn’t know about it until they said we had come out on top.

“We are a very small depot in comparison to some where you have hundreds of drivers, we have 68.

“Some people might think a small depot is easier to manage, but it just means there are fewer resources available to you.

“I think where we benefit is that I can get to know each one of our drivers and build up that personal connection, where that would be impossible at some of the larger depots.”

As a reward for their achievement, the Barrow staff were treated to new items for their staff lounge, including a coffee machine.

Mr McPhail said his staff were proud of being named the best depot, but they will have to work hard to maintain their position at the top.

“I’m ex-forces and have very high standards anyway, but I’m realistic about what can be achieved,” he added.

“We’ve looked at ways to improve our rest facilities, and if anyone comes to me with a problem then it is my job to try and sort it for them.

“Whatever we are doing seems to be working, but we can’t rest at being number one, the challenge is to make sure we’re number one again next year.”

Lee Trengrove, a driver from Barrow, said: “It’s a good place to work and the people are really friendly.

“Being the best depot in Cumbria is not something the public would necessarily be aware of, but hopefully people can see that we’re doing a decent job here.

“The low number of complaints we get from customers means we must be doing something right.”