The new Stephensons Boreham bus depot was officially opened on Monday 19th May.
Guests, including representatives from Essex County Council, Chelmsford City Council and Suffolk County Council, trade suppliers, fellow bus operators etc., were able to inspect the fully-equipped maintenance facility with a state-of-the-art electronic rolling road for brake testing together with the latest vehicle diagnostic equipment.
Also available for inspection was the Ticketer system used on buses to issue tickets, read smartcards, and provide real-time location and timing data, and the GreenRoad driver eco-manager/tracking system which monitors and encourages safe and economical driving. Six Stephensons drivers have already gained the accolade of elite GreenRoad status.
Managing Director, Bill Hiron described the steady progress of Stephensons since the 1970s to become what is now the largest independent local and school bus operator in Essex. Building and preparing the new depot to replace outmoded premises in Witham was a challenging task and thanks were due to staff and to the many local contractors and tradespeople for their tremendous efforts in meeting the target.
Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways & Transportation, Cllr. Rodney Bass then paid tribute to the years of valued partnership between the County Council and Stephensons in the provision of both local and school bus services throughout the county.
Finally, Essex County Council Chairman Cllr. Norman Hume unveiled the ceremonial plaque and declared the new depot officially open. The plaque will receive pride of place in the entrance lobby to the offices.
The £800,000 depot is the latest investment by the Company. Already this year, new and modern, pre-owned buses, costing £1.6m, have joined the fleet, with a further two due in August. All buses now used on Stephensons local services in Essex and Suffolk (and 70% of those used on school services) meet the latest accessibility and environmental standards, being buggy and wheelchair-friendly, and fitted with green, low-emission engines.
If you wish to view images from the day, please click here
Essex-based Bus and Coach operator Stephensons has taken delivery of two Scania double deck buses, with British built ADL E400 bodywork. At a cost of over £200,000 each, the new vehicles represent further considerable investment by the company, which has continued to upgrade its fleet in recent years.
The new buses are low-floor, and provide easy access for buggies, wheelchairs, and the elderly. They are to the latest clean and green \'Euro 5\' emission standards, and will be used on Stephensons\' local bus, schools, and rail replacement services.
Stephensons\' Managing Director Bill Hiron explained:
\'We are gradually replacing our older step-entrance buses with DDA-compliant buses, both new and good-quality used models. We\'ve invested in excess of £4m in new and nearly-new buses over the last five years to ensure our passengers enjoy the highest standards, and this is just the latest phase of that ongoing process\'.
Stephensons has depots at Rochford, Witham and Maldon in Essex, and at Haverhill in Suffolk. Formed in the mid-1970s, the company remains privately owned, and today is the largest independent operator in Essex.
Stephensons of Essex, based in Rochford, has been included in the inaugural publication of the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 companies to Inspire Britain’, a list of the 1,000 most inspiring small and medium-sized companies in the UK.
To be selected, companies had to demonstrate not only a positive growth in revenue over the last four years, but also an increase in employee numbers, workspace, contract wins or patent filings. The result is a list of companies which the Stock Exchange said is richer and more varied than ever identified in any other exercise of this type. It demonstrates that the UK has a diverse economy with companies on the list representing over 100 sectors, from architecture and automotive, to venture capital and wine, and encouragingly from across every region of the UK.
The Exchange’s goal in producing the report is to highlight, to as wide an audience as possible, the importance of SME’s to the future of the UK economy. Its research has shown that it is almost exclusively these companies which have generated new, net job creation in the UK since the financial crisis.
Xavier Rolet, CEO of London Stock Exchange Group, said:
“More needs to be done to raise awareness of the importance of these businesses. More needs to be done to nurture, support and encourage these companies, many of which have the potential to be the blue chips of tomorrow. That support comes in many forms: from cutting red tape, to media promotion, to providing access to appropriate finance”
Managing Director of Stephensons, Bill Hiron, explained that he was completely unaware of the company’s inclusion until the list was published.
“We are delighted to be recognised in this way, alongside some of the UK’s most vibrant companies. Local Bus operation is not normally in the spotlight alongside some such well-known national brands, but the listing is testament to the hard work and professionalism of our staff and management team”.