Coaching celebrates at Alton Towers

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The team from family-run Woods Coaches of Bognor Regis proudly show off their trophy and certificate
The team from family-run Woods Coaches of Bognor Regis proudly show off their trophy and certificate

Woods of Bognor Regis crowned UK Coach Operator of the Year and Falcon Coaches win Highest Placed Coach Operator in all Classes at UK Coach Rally

There was much to celebrate as individuals, companies and organisations across the UK operating and tourism industry were recognised and rewarded at the UK Coach Awards 2013, which took place on Saturday 20 April at Alton Towers Resort. It was part of a two-day celebration, with the UK Coach Rally taking place over the same weekend.

There were many familiar names among the UK Coach Awards finalists. Woods Travel of Bognor Regis was named as Top Small Fleet Operator. The company went on to win the coveted UK Coach Operator of the Year award, judged on customer nominations, performance data and a ‘mystery shopper’ exercise to test the company’s customer friendliness. Renowned North of Scotland-based Maynes Coaches of Buckie won the award for Top Large Fleet Operator, with Bournemouth’s Excelsior Coaches winning the Medium Fleet category.

Gavin Scott of Stanley Travel won the award for Young Coach Industry Professional, while the Top UK Coach Driver was named as Mike Fitzgerald of Anthony’s Travel. The Unsung Heroes award went to Melanie Cox of Epsom Coaches and the Award for Services to the Industry was deservedly won by Mike Lambden, until recently of National Express.

Several popular coaching destinations featured in the awards, as well companies providing support services for the industry.

UKCA Chairman Allan Edmondson said: “It has been heartening to see the way in which the coach industry has reacted to the current recession. The judges were impressed by the level of innovation, investment and positive marketing going on in these difficult times, all designed to win new customers, as well as retain existing ones.”

“We are also very grateful to the staff at Alton Towers Resort, who have been enthusiastic and excellent hosts,” he added.

The UK Coach Awards 2013 were again compered by popular BBC presenter Carol Kirkwood and the awards themselves were presented by Malcolm Robson, President of CPT. The event was attended by over 300 key players in the coach and tourism industry.

For more details and photos of the awards, visit