New Belle Vue coaches named after drivers’ children

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This Belle Vue Mercedes-Benz Tourismo is named ‘Molly Marie’
This Belle Vue Mercedes-Benz Tourismo is named ‘Molly Marie’

Five 49-seater Mercedes-Benz Tourismos have been named after the company made a £1.25m investment in the vehicles

A transport firm has named its new executive coaches after the children and grandchildren of its drivers.

Belle Vue Manchester took the unusual step after taking delivery of five 49-seater Mercedes-Benz Tourismo coaches, which are used for day trips, holidays and continental tours.

The youngsters’ names have been painted in gold on the front of each vehicle.

The coaches, acquired by the Stockport-based company at a total cost of £1.25m, are named Jack Benjamin, Molly Marie, Cody Louie, Janet and Heidi.

Belle Vue Director Phil Hitchen said: “Originally, we were thinking of naming the coaches after north west landmarks, but we really liked the suggestion by our maintenance director Ken Walsh to invite the drivers to choose the names.

“It gives them a huge personal connection to the coaches they drive.”

He added: “We have a fleet of 48 Yellow school buses operating across Greater Manchester and 22 vehicles operating across the UK and Europe but, despite our size, we are still a company with a human touch and a family feel.

“We have numerous husbands and wives, fathers and sons and daughters, nieces and nephews working in the company.

“We prefer to communicate on first-name terms, we don’t do job titles on business cards or office doors. Allowing the drivers to name their coaches is another example of our friendly culture.”

The drivers spoke of their pride at the company’s gesture.

Luis Moreira said: “When the coach turned up with my daughter’s name on, I was choked and deeply touched.”

Ken James said: “It’s brilliant to have my granddaughter’s name on the coach, it’s really special and something different.”

The names have become a major talking point with passengers.

Robert Gill said: “My daughter’s name on the coach is a great ice-breaker with the customers. They inquire about the name, my personal life and the business, and in return I ask them questions.

“By the time the coach trip starts, we are all the best of friends and the passengers feel confident and comfortable.”