RAIL passengers are being invited to nominate their favourite member of staff as train operator Stagecoach launches its Champions Awards.

This is the fifth year of the company’s group-wide awards which recognise staff achievements in a number of categories including safety, environment, health, innovation, community and customer service.

The awards are open to employees across Stagecoach’s bus and rail operations, and more than 70 staff members have been honoured for their outstanding efforts over the past five years.

This year, Stagecoach is calling on its millions of rail customers in the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance to nominate their favourite employee – it could be a driver, train manager, guard, member of station staff, catering personnel, cleaner, customer service assistant, or any other member of the Alliance team.

All employees nominated will be in with a chance of winning a gold, silver or bronze Champions award along with a cash prize.

In addition, customers who nominate a winning employee will also be presented with a cash prize.

The customer who nominates a gold award-winning employee will receive £500, the customer who puts forward a silver award-winning employee will receive £250, and the customer who nominates a bronze award-winning employee will receive £125.

Arthur Pretorius, customer service director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “We know many of our staff have a great relationship with our customers and the job they do is appreciated by many people.

“This is a chance for our customers to help local staff gain recognition at a national level as well as potentially winning a prize themselves.

“We hope people will take the time to nominate their favourite employee across the South West Trains network.”

Customers who wish to nominate a South West Trains employee should email giving details of the staff member and an explanation of why they believe the employee deserves to win an award.

The deadline for nominations is midnight on Friday, March 28.