Top Large Fleet Operator

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 larger operators (with fleets of over 51 vehicles), there are two others for buisinesses with fleets of 15 vehicles or fewer and between 16 and 50 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.

Winners: The Kings Ferry, Gillingham, Kent

One of the VIP coaches run by The Kings FerryThe Kings Ferry runs a fleet of 68 coaches ranging in size from 12 seater ‘land yachts’ to 77 seat double deckers. Kings Ferry was founded by Peter O’Neill in 1968, and he ran the business with his family until 2007, when it was sold to current owners National Express Group. The emphasis is on high quality service and vehicles for both its high-profile commuter services and its extensive charter work. In this market, The Kings Ferry is a leading supplier of VIP coaches to football and other sporting teams.

The judges were really impressed by the company’s quality, marketing and strong image.

Further information from

Runners Up: Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire

A johnson's vehicle in the delightful Warwickshire countrysideEstablished in 1909, Johnsons is an independent family business providing coach hire, holidays & excursions and local bus service with an enviable reputation for high quality service.

Johnsons operates in three distinct product areas:

  • Own Products, which includes holidays in the UK & Europe, day excursions and theatre trips
  • Coach Hire for business, education and pleasure
  • Bus Services operating across five midlands counties (Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire).

The judges were impressed by the range of coaching products, by the emphasis on training and support for staff, and by the proprietors' enthusiasm, which comes across strongly.

For more information, visit

Highly Commended: Johnson Brothers, Worksop, Nottinghamshire

Established in the 1950s by the Johnson family, this is a family run company, which prides itself on offering its customers exceptional value for money, combined with a personal, yet professional service. The business is proud to maintain its roots as an independent coach tour operator in Nottinghamshire, operating from the original premises in Worksop.

More information can be found at

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