High Quality Staff Cheered by Awards Victories

High Quality Staff Cheered by Awards Victories

High quality staff cheered by awards victories in close-fought UK Coach Awards contest

Coach operators and their staff throughout the country are celebrating after being named as winners in the 2016 UK Coach Awards. The eighth annual awards were presented before an audience of more than 220 industry movers and shakers in a glittering ceremony at Manchester’s Mercure Piccadilly Hotel on the evening of Thursday 21 April.

Gillingham-based firm The Kings Ferry was named UK Coach Operator of the Year, having scooped the title of Top Large Fleet Operator. The company also took home three Silver Awards – for Coach industry Web Site of the Year, the Coach Marketing Award and staff member Ben Bhattal in the Young Coach Industry Professional Award.

Winner of the Top Medium Fleet Operator was Maynes Coaches of Buckie, in Moray, Scotland, whilst Top Small Fleet Operator, for the second year in a row, was Anthony’s Travel. The Runcorn-based firm also won gold in the ROSCO Award for Innovation in Road Safety, and took home Silver in the new Best Coach industry Brand category.

Stagecoach East Scotland’s cross-Forth network Express City Connect was named Top Express Operation for the second year in a row, with Oxford Bus Company taking Silver for its X90 Oxford-London service.

Holiday giant Shearings also took home a Gold Award for the Industry Web Site of the Year, and also took home a Silver Award in the Top Large Fleet Operator category and two Bronzes, in the Coach Marketing and Coach Travel Programme categories.

The ceremony was hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Carol Kirkwood, and the awards were presented by Ian Luckett, chair of the CPT Coach Commission, the industry trade association.

Congratulating all the winners, UK Coach Awards chairman Allan Edmondson said, “Our awards are about recognising and rewarding outstanding quality in all aspects of running coaches, and our winners this year have certainly delivered that.” Awards were presented for high quality operation, and for a range of professional disciplines such marketing, web site design, travel programmes and passenger facilities.

The biggest cheers of the night were reserved for the people awards, which provide recognition to a range of different staff categories, including both customer-facing and back office personnel. Top UK Coach Driver was Glyn Bowden from Edwards Coaches of Pontypridd, whilst the Customer Service Award went to Rik Tapper at Belle Vue. Two other staff members from the Manchester firm won prizes the Unsung Hero category, with 19-year old Sharron Meakin taking Gold whilst Donna Thompson won a Special Commendation for Outstanding Service – an award also made to Steve Way from National Express. Kevin Walker from York Pullman won Gold in the Young Coach Industry Professional category. David Steele from the Association of Group Travel Organisers was given the award for Services to the Coach Industry, recognising his campaigning work for coach tourism over a career dating back more than 40 years.

“Coaching is above all a people business,” explained Allan. “We rely on our workforce to look after customers, maintain our vehicles and do all the vital planning and admin work that goes into providing top-quality public transport. The industry could not do its job without huge amounts of effort from our staff, day in and day out.”

“Our awards provide people with a real boost: they know that they win because our independent, expert judges have chosen them from the best in the industry, and judged their nomination against objective criteria,” Allan continued.

The 2016 Results

Awards for Industry People
Customer Service Award sponsored by Mistral
  • Winner, Gold Award: Rik Tapper, Belle Vue Manchester
Services to the Coach Industry sponsored by Personal Group
  • Winner, Gold Award: David Steele, Association of Group Travel Organisers
Top UK Coach Driver sponsored by Traffilog
  • Winner, Gold Award: Glyn Bowden – Edwards Coaches
  • Winner, Silver Award: Brian Davis – Motts Travel
  • Winner, Bronze Award: John Gilbody – Belle Vue Manchester
  • Finalist: Mark Pierce – Anthony’s Travel
  • Finalist: Steve Rudman – Cairngorm Travel
Unsung Heroes sponsored by Backhouse Jones
  • Winner, Gold Award: Shannon Meakin – Belle Vue Manchester
  • Specially Commended: Donna Thompson – Belle Vue Manchester
  • Specially Commended: Steve Way – National Express
Young Coach Industry Professional sponsored by CILT UK
  • Winner, Gold Award: Kevin Walker – York Pullman Bus Company
  • Winner, Silver Award: Ben Bhattal – The Kings Ferry

Technical & Professional Awards

Best Coach Industry Brand sponsored by Bus & Coach Professional
  • Winner, Gold Award: Transport Suppliers to Education across Greater Manchester – Belle Vue Manchester
  • Winner, Silver Award: Brand Anthony’s – Anthony’s Travel
  • Winner, Bronze Award: BusyBus Holdings – BusyBus
Coach Industry Website of the Year sponsored by Holiday Extras
  • Winner, Gold Award: – Shearings Holidays
  • Winner, Silver Award: – The Kings Ferry
  • Winner, Bronze Award: – BusyBus
Coach Marketing Award sponsored by Bus & Coach Buyer
  • Winner, Gold Award: Bard On Board – Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel
  • Winner, Silver Award: The Kings Ferry – The Kings Ferry
  • Winner, Bronze Award: Shearings Holidays – Shearings Holidays
  • Finalist: Think globally act locally – Anthony’s Travel
  • Finalist: Belle Vue Brokerage & Conference Event Transport Management – Belle Vue Manchester
  • Finalist: Bury Market – Bury Market
Coach Travel Programme sponsored by CBW with Group Travel World
  • Winner, Gold Award: AW Eastons Coaches – AW Eastons Coaches
  • Winner, Silver Award: Edwards Coaches – Edwards Coaches
  • Winner, Bronze Award: Shearings Holidays – Shearings Holidays
  • Finalist: Great Britain by Coach, Air and Sea – Epsom Coaches
  • Finalist: 2016 Travel Programme – Gardiners NMC
  • Finalist: Summer 2015 – Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel
  • Finalist: UK & Continental Coach & Air Holidays – Woods Travel
Making Coaches a Better Choice
  • Winner, Gold Award: A vehicle for change – National Express
  • Winner, Silver Award: RailAir – First Hampshire, Dorset & Berkshre
  • Specially Commended: Nantwich Coach Welcome Scheme – Nantwich Town Council
Safety Innovation sponsored by ROSCO
  • Winner, Gold Award: Safety as standard – Anthony’s Travel

Operating Awards

Top Express Operation
  • Winner, Gold Award: Express City Connect – Stagecoach East Scotland
  • Winner, Silver Award: X90 – Oxford Bus Company
Top Large Fleet Operator sponsored by Evobus
  • Winner, Gold Award: The Kings Ferry
  • Winner, Silver Award: Shearings Holidays
  • Winner, Bronze Award: York Pullman Bus Company
  • Finalist: National Express
Top Medium Fleet Operator sponsored by Volvo and Thomas Hardie Commercials
  • Winner, Gold Award: Maynes Coaches
  • Winner, Silver Award: Belle Vue Manchester
  • Winner, Bronze Award: Alfa Coaches
  • Finalist: Crosskeys Coaches
Top Small Fleet Operator sponsored by EVM
  • Winner, Gold Award: Anthony’s Travel
  • Winner, Silver Award: Woods Travel
  • Winner, Bronze Award: Carol Peters Travel
UK Coach Operator of the Year
  • Winner, Gold Award: The Kings Ferry
Featured T&L Bus & Coach
T&L 265
T&L 264
T&L 263