The winners of these awards deliver consistently excellent customer service. The operators demonstrate their success through sustained effort.
They have shown that they:
- are financially sound
- maintain high operational and engineering standards
- give priority to the Health and Safety of staff and passengers through comprehensive risk management
- invest in their fleet and staff
- form effective partnerships
- identify with and respond to the communities they serve
- always strive to sustain and grow the market for coaches and coach services.
As well as this award for the medium operators, there are two others for buisinesses with fleets of fewer than 10 and over 51 vehicles.
From the winners of these three awards, the judges chose an overall winner, named Belmont International UK Coach Operator of the Year.
For each of the categories, customer nominations were sought from group organisers and other industry clients. Nominated operators are also invited to submit further information to the judges.The judging process also includes 'mystery shopping' of the nominated operators to test their commitment to customer service.
Who could be nominated?
The awards are open to all operators of coaches for hire to the general public or used on tours and excurions.
... and by whom?
Group organisers and other clients who hire coaches on an occasional or regular basis were asked to nominate the coach company which has delivered the best service to their groups.
The Winners: Anthony's Travel, Runcorn, Cheshire
Anthony's Travel was established in 1985 by Anthony, Anne & Richard Bamber. From the modest beginings of our first mini-coach to an extensive fleet of 18 coaches & mini-coaches and over 40 members of staff. From our base in Runcorn, Cheshrie we provide coach transport for a wide range of clients, businesses, educational establishement, sports teams, tour operators & local authorities. We pride ourselves in offering high quality service and vehichles with a family touch using our fllet of coaches and mini-coaches.
The customers who nominated them praised the helpfulness of staff in making bookings, the cleanliness of coaches, friendliness of drivers, and value for money. The judges agreed, and rated the company’s staff and safety policies very highly indeed.
Full details can be found by visiting the company's website at www.anthonys-travel.co.uk
Runners Up: Cozys Travel, Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Cozys is a family run coach hire business based in Letchworth Garden City, just entering its 25th year in business. The company started in 1984 as a one man taxi-hire business, but has grown to include 19 drivers and 22 buses and coaches. The main operations include school transport, UK and European holidays, day trips and private hire.
Members of the local community recognise Cozys as a prominent provider of local school transport, local bus services and a range of holidays and day trips. Cozys transports over 1,900 students a day on home to school contracts run for Central Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire County Councils.
The judges rated Cozys very highly, and congratulated them for coming a close second in a very tight contest.
More information from www.cozys.co.uk
Highly Commended Operators
The following were highly commended by the judges.
Coastal Coaches, Warton, Nr Preston in Lancashire
Founded in 2000, Coastal Coaches is a family owned company based in modern premises on Lancashire's Fylde Coast. The business operates a modern fleet of 9 coaches and 3 buses, all Mercedes Benz powered, with seating capacities from 16 to 49 and an average age of 18 months.
Currently they employ 17 drivers, and 2 managers. Coastal are members of the CPT and proprietor Bill Holder is a member of the NW CPT Commitee and the Coach Commission. The company is no stranger to awards, having won 'Coach Operator of the Year' in the RouteONE Operator Excellence Awards in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Coastal Coaches became members of the Coach Marque scheme in March 2009.
More information can be found at www.coastalcoaches.co.uk
Excelsior Coaches, Bournemouth, Dorset
With 85 years of experience, Excelsior Coaches provides the most modern air-conditioned fleet in the region and is one of only 43 elite Coach Operators in the UK to be awarded the prestigious Coach Marque Award, by CPT. Excelsior operates a fleet of 27 vehicles which has increased by 30% in the last 3 years, the oldest vehicle is 4 years old and the company employs 65 full time members of staff.
Further information can be seen at www.excelsior-coaches.com
Hardings International, Redditch, Worcestershire
Hardings is a Midlands based coach operator ideally located in the centre of the Midland motorway network. Established over 60 years ago, the company has grown and prospered through 3 generations of the same family. As Hardings International, the company operates a modern fleet of over 40 vehicles which includes 30 luxury touring coaches and employs approx 80 full time staff, with a fleet replacement program of ten years and below.
Hardings pride themselves on providing an excellent personal service for local, long distance and European luxury coach travel.
For more information, visit www.hardingscoaches.co.uk
Marshall's Coaches, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Marshalls Coaches have been established for 36 years. The business was set up by Fred and Sheila Marshall in 1974. Marshalls operates from a purpose built head quarters in Leighton Buzzard and have a fleet of 30 vehicles standard and executive ranging from 20 seats up to 82 seater double decker coaches. The company has 35 full time employees.
For more information, visit www.marshalls-coaches.co.uk
Woods Coaches of Leicester
Established in 1950 by George and Elaine Wood with one 29-seat vehicle, the company continues today as a family-owned business, with son, Mark Wood at the helm as Chairman, It now employs 55 staff, including 21 drivers, and the fleet has grown to 16 coaches. The company provides private coach hire, and also runs around 550 day trips and over 120 coach holidays throughout each year.
More information from www.woodscoaches.com
Banstead Coaches from Banstead in Surrey were also nominated, but declined to participate in the 2010 competition.