Top Medium Fleet Operator
The winners of our awards for coach operation will deliver consistently excellent customer service. The operators will demonstrate their success through sustained effort.
They will show 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.
There are three categories, based on fleet size (see below for the definitions). From the winners of these three awards, the judges will decide on an overall winner, who will be UK Coach Operator of the Year.
It will be necessary for the organisers and judging panels to assess which category nominated operators fall into: fleet size will be determined by the number of 'O' licence disks held according to the VOSA database. This will be followed up by a judging process, including 'mystery shopping' the nominated operators to test their commitment to customer service. Where operators are nominated by their customers, the operators will also be invited to submit information to the judges.
Winner, Gold Award
Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Maynes Coaches is a family operated business with over 40 employees and 30 coaches. Over the years, the company has built a good reputation across Scotland for high quality vehicles and service.
The company aims to maximise return year on year with the same size of fleet, so has gradually changed the size and specification of its fleet introducing more smaller VIP vehicles. This has meant increasing their market share of corporate work within the whisky industry throughout Speyside and further afield. Last year the company employed a new team member who is continually evaluating feedback and identifying areas of improvement within the service delivery aspects of the business and creating a relationship with both new and current customers.
Maynes impressed the panel of judges with its excellent KPIs and continued investment in new vehicles. It is a good example of a well-run family business with a wide range of work.
Winner, Silver Award
Reays is an independent, family-run company based in Cumbria which operates one of the largest fleets of private hire coaches in the North of England. It was founded in 1980 by Walter Reay, who started running a single mini bus to take his local pub's darts team to away matches.
The company now has 145 employees, operates 90 coaches and its clients include international coach tour operators Kuoni, Trafalgar Tours, Miki and Travel Corporation Asia as well as a string of professional football clubs, including Burnley of the Premier League.
Reays also operates its own coach holidays progamme for the UK and Europe all-year-round, along with a network of school and award-winning public bus services in Cumbria too. Walter's son Chris is now managing director and Chris' wife Nicola is finance director. Last year Reays launched its Super Saver Holidays which proved to be very popular and so the programme has been expanded for 2017 offering four nights DB&B for as little as £179.
The judges were pleased to note that the company has continued to grow its business, especailly the tours, and invest in new vehicles. Staff relationships were also noted to be very good.
Winner, Bronze Award
Motts Travel / Crusader Holidays
Crusader Holidays was one of the pioneers of affordable coach holidays and short breaks to Europe when it began trading in 1974. Now the company operates a fleet of 13 touring Setra Tourismos and is constantly updating the fleet, with a further two Tourismos to be acquired this year. The fleet is supported by a network of feeder drivers from parent company Motts Travel.
Crusader employs 10 full time drivers and some seasonal drivers that return year after year. For 2017 the company has worked extremely hard to refresh the content of its tour programme to complement its new look brochure. Crusader says it remains committed to an innovative and original travel offering whilst never losing sight of ways to add value and keep prices palatable. The company motto 'Ears to the Ground at all times' was put into practice with customer questionnaires and feedback, together with tour drivers' comments and input, being carefully scrutinised with several changes to the programmes and how they operate included for 2017.
Noting the very low staff turnover and sickness rates, the judges commented that this is a very solid operation.
Crosskeys is a family run business which started in 1973 with a couple of coaches promoting day trips in the local area. Now with a fleet of over 20 coaches and 38 staff, and an ABTA bonded independent travel agency in Folkestone, the company offers private coach hire for groups, schools, businesses and private customers, be it a day trip, British or Continental coach holiday or a tailor-made holiday of a life time to anywhere in the world. Two new vehicles joined the fleet last year - a 53 seat Mercedes Tourism and a seven seat Mercedes-Benz Vito for door to door services.
R S Tyrers
RS Tyrers was established by Robert Samuel Tyrer in 1972 with the aim of providing clean and reliable vehicles and exceeding customers expectations through outstanding customer service. Now in its third generation of the family, this ethos is still running though the company which continues to grow with the same ethos.
Tyrers has a fleet of 85 vehicles, working out of two depots in Chorley and Bolton, and employs over 105 people. The company has invested heavily in staff training as the company believes that by investing in its staff it is investing in a brighter future for the company.
Top Medium Fleet Operator
Who could be nominated?
This award was open to independent operators of coaches holding between 16 and 100 'O' Licence discs, not in the sole or majority ownership of a public limited company (plc).
... and by whom?
Group travel organisers and other coach industry customers who hire coaches on an occasional or regular basis were asked to nominate the coach company which had delivered the best service to their groups. Self-nomination was also acceptable