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The University of Southampton

Uni-link wins award for caring service

Published: 29 November 2004

Uni-link has been named the best transport organisation in Hampshire catering for people with disabilities in the first Southampton Centre for Independent Living (SCIL) Business and Community Awards.

The award underlines the continued success of the popular University of Southampton managed bus service, which is probably the only bus fleet in the UK with every vehicle fully accessible to people with mobility problems and a team of drivers with a caring attitude to match.

The new awards - launched by SCIL in association with the Southern Daily Echo to mark the organisation's 20th anniversary - celebrate business and community achievements in making a difference to the lives of people with disabilities. Nominations for the ten award categories were open to all businesses and organisations based in or operating in the Hampshire area.

The University launched uni-link in 2001 with a fleet of nine buses. A further four double-decker buses were added to the fleet this year and a total of four routes are now served around the city. All 13 vehicles have low floors to aid accessibility and can accommodate up to two wheelchairs. The service also has a team of drivers well-known for their friendliness and helpfulness. It is now the fastest-growing bus network in the UK with a 22 per cent increase in passenger numbers last year.

Transport Services Manager John Waugh said: "We are delighted to receive this award from the Southampton Centre for Independent Living which is a great way to end another successful year. Uni-link is committed to making all its services accessible to everyone and we take our role in the community very seriously.

"As well as being commercially successful, we pride ourselves on offering a high-quality service to students and the travelling public alike. I hope this award will make many more people with mobility problems aware of this service which considers and caters for their specific needs."

Notes for editors

  1. In 2001 uni-link expanded its services in a new partnership with bus operator Accord. Prior to 2001, uni-link services were run in conjunction with First Bus.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
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