Local rail company First TransPennine Express (FTPE) has scooped an award at the First Group annual safety awards for managing some of the safest railway stations in the UK.

The awards ceremony, which was held in April, recognises companies and employees within the First Group who demonstrate their commitment to ensuring the highest levels of safety across their transport networks.  

Teesside stations which include Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Thornaby, Yarm and Thirsk took home the award in the Small Station team category at the ceremony. The award recognises the hard work from station managers and staff in making FTPE owned Teesside railway stations a safe environment for passengers. As a part of their prize, a cheque for £1000 will be donated to Stockton-on-Tees based Butterwick Children's Hospice as nominated by the station staff.

Butterwick Children's Hospice opened its first centre in 1984 and for the last 26 years has served as an essential centre for children with life limiting illnesses, as well as supporting family members. They now cater for up to 200 people a day as well as providing a home support service, the operation cost £3.8 Million a year to support.

Dave Mulhall, Head of Safety for First TransPennine Express is delighted with the award, "Winning the safety award in the small station category is a testament to the energy and enthusiasm of the staff at Teesside stations. Not only have team leaders and staff at the stations worked hard to own and implement their own safety strategies, they have actively voiced their thoughts on how safety at the stations can be improved. This has resulted in various changes, from improved wheelchair ramp operations for staff at Northallerton Railway Station, to reducing the speed of cars through the installation of a speed bump at Thornaby station. Operating various initiatives at the stations, Teesside stations staff, have demonstrated some of the best safety performance statistics within FTPE and continue to maintain positive attitudes to safety."

The awards ceremony was attended by over 200 senior staff and representatives from each of First UK's companies, including First Groups regional bus and rail operations. Naveed Qamar, FirstGroup's Safety Director commented on the groups safety targets; "We want all our depots, stations and offices to achieve zero injuries and zero preventable incidents. Our Awards and Safety Conference re-enforced our company mantra: 'If you cannot do it safely, don't do it.'"

Rachel Blackburn, Head of Stations was delighted to see staff recognised for their hard work, "We are committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for all our customers at all our stations. I would like to congratulate Teesside station staff on this award, just recognition for their continuing hard work".

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