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This award is presented annually by UK Coach Awards to somebody in the world of coach tourism who has devoted a lifetime to the industry, and delivered exceptional service in the provision and/or delivery of coach services.

Mike Lambden from National ExpressThe award is designed to recognise a significant and sustained contribution to the success of the industry by an individual who has gone consistently beyond the call of normal duty to improve and promote the coach industry for its users or the wider community.

The Winner in 2013: Mike Lambden

Our award this year goes to somebody who has literally given a lifetime of service to the UK Coach Industry, having worked in a variety of positions for 46 years until his retirement at the end of 2012.

Beginning his career straight from school in 1967, he went on to hold a wide variety of jobs and experienced a huge amount of change as the industry evolved – through changes of regulation, of ownership and the huge advances in technology. Along the way, he accumulated a huge amount of knowledge and experience which he has always been keen to pass on to his colleagues and employers.

When the National Bus Company created the concept of a national express coach network in 1972, Mike was one of the many young men who were transferred from local bus and coach companies into the new organisation. 40 years later, after incorporation, privatisation, flotation and many changes of management, the brand was still there – and so was Mike.When it came to marking the anniversary, he was able to provide most of the information needed – not to mention photographs and other memorabilia from his own collection.

In his many jobs – most notably as contracts manager and latterly as head of corporate communications – Mike has built a huge range of friends and contacts across the industry. Meanwhile, his extensive knowledge led him to being known as the “Oracle” to colleagues at National Express.

He has helped see the company through deregulation in 1980, privatisation in 1987, sale and flotation in 1992 and the many changes that have occurred since – in vehicles, in technology, in operations and personnel. As one of his colleagues said, “He has helped to create a lifetime of achievements for our business.”

He is a truly worthy winner of this special award.

Who could be nominated?

Individuals working in any coach-related environment and at any level of seniority.

… and by whom?

Nominations will be accepted from operators, local authorities, other bodies involved in the planning and provision of coach services and other organisations working with the industry or on behalf of its users.

The Criteria:

Given the broad spread of individuals that might be nominated for this award, the UKCA organising committee will use its discretion in considering nominations for this award and will seek the necessary verification. The following will be taken into account:

  • The level of service delivered
  • Any special circumstances
  • Consistent record of achievement
  • Sustainability of the entrant’s contributions


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