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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Wigton firm Reays highly commended in UK Bus Awards

Bus operator Reays has been “highly commended” in the 2012 UK Bus Awards.

Reays photo
Chris Reay with wife Nicola Reay, left, and finance director Michelle Stacey

The Wigton firm, which won ‘top independent operator’ last year, was one of three highly-commended entries in the marketing-excellence section.

Reays entered its ‘hopping mad’ campaign, which featured a flock of crazy-looking sheep to promote discounted tickets on its City Hopper network in Carlisle.

It also included a giant burger with two buses in the middle to publicise Double Hopper tickets.

Judges described the campaign as “clever and well executed”.

They felt it was an excellent example of how a new entrant could quickly establish brand and customer loyalty in a highly-competitive market.

Managing director Chris Reay said: “We are very proud to have represented our home county as the only Cumbria-based operator in the nation’s number one bus awards.

“Our hopping-mad campaign proved very successful. It was good fun and put a smile on people’s faces but also got over the message in a strong and positive way that passengers would save themselves money by buying our discounted deals.”

More than 600 guests attended the awards in London last week at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. Transport Under Secretary Norman Baker was guest of honour. Mr Reay went with his wife Nicola, the firm’s finance director, and Michelle Stacy, sales and customer service manager.

Reays launched City Hopper in October 2010 in competition with established operator, Stagecoach. The network now carries 30,000 passengers a week. Reays also operates a fleet of private-hire coaches and provides many school and loss-making rural bus routes under contract to Cumbria County Council.

This summer it launched Lakes Hopper services between Keswick and Bowness and has plans for more routes.

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