Top UK Coach Driver

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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 2010.

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.

The Winner:Mike Fitzgerald - fourth successive appearance in the final Mike Fitzgerald, Anthony's Travel, Runcorn, Cheshire

This was the fourth year in a row that Mike has been nominated by his customers for this award, and his fourth successive appearance in the final - itself worthy of commendation!

Mike has held a PCV licence for over 30 years, and has worked for Anthony's Travel for the last seven years.

They said; “His appearance is always immaculate along with any vehicle he is allocated. His attention to detail when planning routes, rest stops and places of interest is exceptional.”

Taking into account his excellent record, the judges felt that Mike is an ideal ambassador for the coach industry.

Runner Up: Peter Speaight – Epsom Coaches, Epsom, Surrey

Runner up Peter Speaight from Surry firm Epsom CoachesPeter is considered to be reliable, flexible and versatile, taking on any task that is put his way. He has an excellent record and  his employers said; “Peter is a rare employee who can be treated as part of the management team. The number of requests for his services are many and varied.”

The judges agreed that Peter is well worthy of recognition.

Highly Commended:

Sandy Watson – Maynes Coaches, Buckie, Moray

Sandy Watson from Moray firm Maynes Coaches of BuckieSandy freely admits he is an easygoing, talkative individual. “I think if I can make someone smile, then I’m happy.” This philosophy goes down well with his passengers, many of whom write of their appreciation. One such commendation said; “Sandy was brilliant, his kindness, patience and helpfulness was exceptional.” His employers clearly appreciate Sandy’s professionalism and the judges were also suitably impressed.

Specially Commended

Stuart Alford – Maynes Coaches, Buckie, Moray

Contibuting to Orkney Tourism - Stuart Alford from Maynes of BuckieStuart has been doing the “Maxi” coach tour of Orkney for Maynes for a number of years and his passengers come from all over the world. He is regarded as an excellent ambassador for the Island and completes each tour with the utmost professionalism. He has a good working relationship with the attractions the tour visits each day and the company receives many letters of thanks from customers. The judges felt that Stuart’s contribution to coaching and tourism was worthy of a special commendation.

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 2012.

…and by whom?

Nominations were sought from group organisers and other coach hire clients for the coach drivers they consider worthy of this award.

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 will be assessed on their technical and professional skill. Evidence of this will be 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 will be 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.

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