Top UK Coach Driver
This award is presented to the coach driver who has best demonstrated excellent performance from the customer perspective in the 12 month period to the end of December 2017.
To win the title of Top UK Coach Driver, nominees need to go that extra mile to provide the customer’s ideal: a driver who is friendly, helpful, conscientious and mindful of passengers’ comfort and well-being – in short, a true professional and worthy ambassador for the job.
Winner, Gold Award: Mark Breslin
Mark Breslin is a tour driver for Maynes Coaches in north east Scotland and his employer considers him to be a true asset to the company. He is the company's longest serving driver, having worked at Maynes for 16 years. Mark's experience and wealth of knowledge makes him one of the best tour drivers and he is often requested by private hire customers. Mark goes above and beyond for his passengers and constantly receives glowing feedback. His allocated vehicle is always immaculate and he treats it as if it was his own. For Mark, working for Maynes is not only a job, but it's a career which he loves. He takes pride in his appearance and always wears his full Maynes uniform, though Mark entertains customers on holidays by dressing up in seasonal outfits such as his Christmas and tartan suits.
The judges thought that Mark Breslin is exactly the sort of driver any coach operator would want driving on one of its tours. Passionate and committed, Mark is an excellent ambassador for the company.
Winner, Silver Award: Robert Gill
Belle Vue Manchester
Rob Gill joined the Belle Vue team in Stockport in 2009 as a part time school bus driver. Rob was a cheeky chappie, always playing jokes on the other drivers. At work functions he was the one who everyone was talking about on their return to work on the Monday morning. After four years, Rob decided to take his career seriously and requested a move over to the coach team. He was started on day trips, and the customer feedback he received was exceptional, so he was then thrown in at the deep end and given a European tour. Having never driven a coach abroad, he spoke with his colleagues and managers and researched what he could to ensure he did not fail. He came back a different person. Rob enjoyed the company of the group and he loved being in control of the tour making sure everyone got what they needed. His nature and behaviour have changed from a happy go lucky scallywag to one of Belle Vue's top, A star drivers who the company can safely send anywhere with any client any time. Always ready to give the most exceptional customer experience, Rob researches the location, contacts the customer to check their requirements and passes on his details for any queries. He always scores exceptionally high on feedback forms after the tour.
The judges commented that Rob clearly has the cheeky charm that appeal to many customers, whilst at the same time taking his role very seriously and delivering excellent customer service and professional driving skills.
Winner, Bronze Award: Shaun Raven
Appointed by Chorley-based Alfa Travel in 2010, Shaun Raven is an excellent ambassador for the company. Although he undertakes many tours, his 'legendary' knowledge of Scarborough means he is often found on tours to the resort and is always a hit with his passengers. It is clear to everyone that meets him that Shaun loves his job and the company says that it hopes that he will continue to be an Alfa coach driver for many more years to come. Shaun is a real professional and sets a really high standard as a tour driver with excellent customer feedback and an impeccable, safe and efficient driving record.
The judges commented on Shaun's specialist knowledge of a popular destination and praised his high standard of customer service.
Neil Swan, Crosskeys Coaches
No matter what the job or the weather, Neil Swan has always got a smile and is looking to make his passengers' journey the best it can be. Neil drives for Kent based Crosskeys Coaches from its base in Folkestone. He shown a great deal of enthusiasm for the job and for making people happy.
Justin Roberts, Crosskeys Coaches
Coach driver Justin Roberts is a proud member of the Crosskeys Coaches team. The Kent based company often receives commendations and praise for Justin, and regular private hire customers will even change the dates of their proposed trips to make sure that they get Justin as their driver. His kindness, high levels of politeness and helpfulness, has made Justin a firm favourite with customers and staff. He will be the first to assist his colleagues with route knowledge and will always do his homework before his next job as he wants everything to run as smoothly as possible.
Who could be nominated?
Any licensed PCV driver in full-time employment, who has been in continuous employment on coach services for the 12 months ended 31 December 2015.
…and by whom?
Nominations were sought from group organisers and other coach hire clients for the coach drivers they consider worthy of this award and from employers
In the case of public nominations, UKCA organisers then sought further information from employers and the consent of the driver concerned to their name being put forward for the award.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
As well as nomination by customers, entrants have been assessed on their technical and professional skill. Evidence of this was required and could include:
- The nominee’s accident record
- Number and duration of safe driving awards won by the nominee
- Technical and professional skills, as evidenced by such items as internal driver assessment reports or marks achieved in a company, regional or national competition held at the coach rallies or other events.
In addition to the skills section, short-listed entrants for the Top UK Coach Driver award were assessed on:
- Public Commendations
- Disciplinary record
In short, the winner of the Coach Driver of the Year prize goes to the individual who best represents the whole range of professional and customer care skills required for this important and highly demanding job.