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 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 and Richard Bamber with one mini-coach the firm now has an extensive fleet of 16 coaches and mini-coaches and over 40 members of staff.
From its base in Runcorn, Cheshire Anthony's Travel provides coach transport for a wide range of clients, businesses, educational establishments, sports teams, tour operators and local authorities. The emphasis is on high quality service and vehicles with a family touch and the firm is an approved member of Coach Marque.
The judges were impressed by the exceptional effort applied to every aspect of the business from customer relations to extra vehicle equipment. There is strong support for local charities, sports teams and schools which clearly pays dividends in maintaining a strong identity in the Runcorn area. What comes across is that this is a firm that really cares about its customers and is know for 'putting something back' into the community.
Full details can be found by visiting the company's website at www.anthonys-travel.co.uk
Runner Up: Excelsior Coaches, Bournemouth, Dorset
With 85 years of experience, Excelsior Coaches claims to provide the most modern air-conditioned fleet in the region and has been awarded CPT's prestigious Coach Marque quality award.
The modern fleet of 32 vehicles has increased 30% in the last 2 years, the oldest vehicle being five years old and the firm employs 62 full time staff. The business has migrated from seasonally-dependent work to long-term corporate contracts – less retail, more business-to-business.
Excelsior is widely known for its quality and this includes its operations for National Express, which has presented the firm with a number of awards in recent years. The judges noted that Excelsior is seen by its clients as more than just a coach operator - in the corporate market it provides not just coach hire to its customers but a total end-to-end solution covering all aspects of transport related services.
The following were highly commended by the judges.
Cozys Travel, Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Cozys is a family run coach hire business based in Letchworth Garden City, which has just celebrated 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.
More information from www.cozys.co.uk
Golden Boy Coaches, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire
Golden Boy Coaches has been operating since 1968 serving the London, Hertfordshire & Essex region. The company aims to offer customers an excellent service, with modern high specification vehicles driven by professional, well trained, uniformed drivers.
Over the last five years in particular, Golden Boy has adopted an accelerated fleet upgrade programme and adopts a policy of continued fleet reinvestment.
The company currently operates a fleet stands of 35 vehicles with an average age profile of 5.5 years, and employs 42 full time staff
More information from www.goldenboy.co.uk
Marshall's Coaches, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Marshalls Coaches have been established for 37 years, having been established by Fred and Sheila Marshall in 1974.
The company operates from a purpose-built headquarters 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 40 full time employees.
For more information, visit www.marshalls-coaches.co.uk
Mayne's Coaches of Buckie
Maynes Coaches is a family owned business that has traded successfully since 1947. With expansion over the years we now have a fleet of 30 vehicles running from depots in Buckie, Elgin and Orkney.
The outstanding success of this company, operating in a highly competitive market, is founded on providing a high quality, high value service and the implementation of four key policies: continued investment in high quality rolling stock, year on year, to fund business growth; careful, imaginative management to identify new and growing markets; constant focus on customer satisfaction and quality to ensure repeat business; employee loyalty and commitment to company values.
For more information, visit www.maynes.co.uk