Innovation Award

A successful nomination for this Award needs to demonstrate development of an original or novel idea that achieves one or more of the following:

  • improves the image of the coach
  • stimulates interest in, or desire for, coaching products
  • improves the efficiency of the industry

This Award is made for an innovation which, in the opinion of the judges, most contributes to the improvement of coach travel. Evidence of quantification of the benefits achieved is essential.

The Vuer in-coach entertainment app in action.Winner, Gold Award

VUER infotainment - National Express

In a first for the industry, National Express has launched an onboard 'infotainment' - news and entertainment - system, available free of charge, on its coaches called VUER (View Unwind Relax Enjoy). After downloading the VUER app, customers can enjoy films, TV and read up to £20 of magazines on screen, as well as having internet access. The system is based around a hardware unit fitted onto the vehicle which enables pre-downloaded content to be streamed over wifi to passenger's smart phones or mobile devices as well as news and sports updates.

The judges were extremely impressed with this innovative system, which is a genuine first for the UK coach industry and puts it up with the offerings from the long distance train companies. It's a great way to keep customers happy and offers possibilities for future expansion.

The app in use - this shot is taken on an Android 
smartphone.Winner, Silver Award

Driver Walk-around Check App - Distinctive Systems

The Distinctive Systems Driver Walk-around Check App makes it easier to ensure drivers are complying with their statutory duty to carry out a daily walk-around check and report any defects found. The app guides the driver through the complete process of performing their check allowing them to record any defects found using pre-defined lists of descriptions, free type text and pictures taken on the phone. The results the driver submits immediately notify the workshop department of any impending maintenance problems in Distinctive Systems' Vehicle Maintenance System, whilst the operations team are warned of any issues that could affect future vehicle allocations in the company's Coach Manager software.

The judges noted that this app offers many advantages over a paper system and improves the operator's ability to maintain safety standards.

A still from Carol Peters Travel's innovative Christmas video - 
all the team were involved!Winner, Bronze Award

Fun in the Community - Carol Peters Travel

The team at Kent-based Carol Peters Travel produced two lipsync videos to create something special for its staff and customers and show what fun coach travel can be. Wanting to show every aspect of the business, the whole team got involved including office staff, management, drivers, fitters and private hire and individual customers. Nearby businesses also featured in the Christmas video which was posted on the company's Facebook page attracting over 33,000 views - 10,000 more than the first video posted in August - and bringing comments from all over the world. The videos have created a lasting memory for all those involved and raised the profile of Carol Peters Travel beyond all expectations.

The judges were very impressed with the innovative use of video to market coach travel and liked the way all staff in the company got involved - and had a good time!

Who could be nominated?

This category was open to industry suppliers, operators and authorities either separately or in conjunction with one another.

… and by whom?

Nominations will be welcomed from all eligible organisations and self-nomination is acceptable.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

Entries will be judged on the basis of the quality of the submissions which need to:

  • Provide a full description of the project, describing how it works and how it was introduced
  • Explain how has it made a difference
  • Supply evidence of the overall trend(s) affected by the project, as appropriate, in:
    • patronage/revenue
    • customer satisfaction
    • cost and efficiency levels
  • State whether the results are likely to be sustainable
  • Describe any future plans for further development
  • Include any relevant supporting material
  • Describe how the impact of the project was measured
  • Describe how staff were informed and trained and the impact, if any, that the project has had on their jobs
  • State whether any partners were involved and, if so, describe their roles

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