Coach operators and their staff from the West Midlands are celebrating after being named as winners in the 2018 UK Coach Awards. The tenth annual awards were presented before an audience of some 300 people in a glittering ceremony at Viva Blackpool, the resort's stunning Vegas-style venue, on the evening of Thursday 10 May.
West Midlands operators, including two major national brands, won the following prizes:
- National Express Winner, Gold Award, Top Large Fleet Operator
- Winner, Gold Award, UK Coach Operator of the Year
- Development of the Caetano Levante III Winner, Gold Award, Making Coaches a Better Choice
- Customer Response Team Winner, Silver Award, Customer Service Award
- Merlyn Bryan and Ann Colley Winner, Bronze Award, Unsung Heroes
- Johnsons Coaches
- Tony Wallace: Winner, Gold Award, ROSCO Award for Innovation in Road Safety
- megabus.com, Launch of new coaches
- Winner, Silver Award, Coach Marketing Award
The awards were hosted and presented by Carol Kirkwood from BBC Breakfast, a great favourite with the coach industry, who was making her tenth appearance at the ceremony.
Congratulating all the winners, UK Coach Awards chairman John Gilbert said, "Our awards are all about recognising and rewarding excellence at all levels in the industry, amongst all operators, large or small, and in all types of work from express through contracting to coach touring." Awards were presented for high quality operation, and for a range of professional disciplines such marketing, web site design, travel programmes and passenger facilities.
“Coaching is above all a people business,” explained John Gilbert. “In order to deliver the improved quality and high standards that our customers demand, we need to recruit train and retain excellent staff. Recognising and rewarding our people is vital to retaining and motivating them. We at UK Coach Awards aim to do precisely that, which is why we have such an important part to play in the drive for quality and excellence in our industry.”