Winners yet again!

Four more trophies for Anthony’s Travel including a trio of Golds at the UK Coach Awards, the ‘Oscars’ of the coach industry.

Runcorn, Cheshire-based independent family owned company Anthony’s Travel scooped up three Gold awards and a Bronze at this year’s UK Coach Awards. This exceptionally successful coach company won Gold in the Top Small Fleet Operator category then went on to beat all other contenders to win the coveted title ‘UK Coach operator of the Year’. The trio of Golds was completed when sisters and operation managers received the Gold Award in the Unsung Heroes category for their sterling work in the Anthony’s Travel office. What’s more, Anthony’s Travel also scooped a Bronze Award in the Coach Marketing category for SMEs, for their community-based approach to building brand awareness.

The UK Coach Awards is the only national awards scheme specifically focus on coach operators and their staff in all types of work. The awards are designed to recognise and reward excellence and practice and to inspire others to follow the winners’ examples. Over 30 individuals, companies and organisations across the UK coach industry were recognised and rewarded for their excellence and good practice at the sixth annual UK Coach Awards, which took place on Thursday 23 April 2015, at Manchester‘s famousMercure Piccadilly Hotel. The ‘Grand Prix’ gold award of the evening was presented when Anthonys Travel was named as UK Coach Operator of the Year, a judgement based both on customer nominations, performance data and detailed scrutiny by the independent judging panel.

Anthonys Travel’s amazing run of wins at UK Coach Awards 2015 began with the first award category of the evening, Coach Marketing. The company is rightly proud of its role within the community, providing transport for specialised groups and support for a number of local charities and good causes. In turn, Anthony’s Travel recognises the important part that volunteers, committee members, parents, clubs and other charitable organisations play in society and offers them all a discount as show of gratitude for their commitment to the community. The result is that Anthony’s Travel keeps busy serving these deserving causes and, accordingly, the UK Coach Awards judges rewarded the company with a Bronze trophy for this innovative approach to Coach Marketing.

When it came to the Top Small Fleet Operator category, Anthony’s Travel were up against three other quality coach operators from around the country. The ‘Voice of God’ at the awards ceremony announced ‘A multi-award winning operator first established in 1985, Anthony’s Travel runs a fleet of twenty coaches and has regularly received multiple nominations from customers. With a pro-active approach to marketing and a great team, Anthony’s once again impressed the judges hugely.’ The sponsor of the award, Peter Flynn of EVM, therefore announced that Anthonys Travel were the winners of theGold award in the Top Small Fleet Operator category.

The UK Coach Awards has a category for the industry’s Unsung Heroes and Tony and Richard Bamber, being keen to give recognition to two exceptional members of their team, nominated sisters and operation managers for this award. With over 11 years’ service with the firm the pair are described by their boss as ‘the beating heart of Anthony’s Travel’. They have helped to see the business through some tough times as the founder has been forced by illness to take a back seat, but they have stepped up magnificently, bringing a sense of humour as well as great skill and efficiency to their work.

Between them they cover a wide range of administrative and operational tasks from handling bookings to allocating drivers and staff training – all whilst maintaining a sense of humour. The sponsor of the award, Ian Jones of Backhouse Jones solicitors therefore announce that the pair were Gold Award winners of the Unsung Heroes category.

The final award of the evening was the UK Coach Operator of the Year, sponsored by coach insurance specialists AJ Gallagher and Liberty.  The winner of the UK Coach Operator of the is chosen by the judges from the winners of the three different fleet categories, taking into account the nominations, the expert scrutiny of our judges, and other research. Quite simply, judged from the customer viewpoint, the winner can truly claim to be the best in the land. When sponsor Phil White announced Anthony’s Travel as the winner of the top prize the ‘Voice of God’ added ‘Their customers have nominated both the firm and one or more of their drivers for an award every year since we started the scheme; they maintain a real family atmosphere and what’s more they previously won this award in 2011.’ So Anthony’s Travel have won UK Coach Operator of the Year for the second time! Richard Bamber then went up on stage withour operations managers yet again to collect yet another trophy for their expanding collection of awards.

The organisers were sorry that founder Tony Bamber was too ill to attend the event this time, stating, to a round of applause from all present, ‘We all send our very best wishes and sincere congratulations on all he has achieved since founding the business in 1985.’

Commenting on the evening Richard Bamber, Partner of Anthony’s Travel said:

“it was an unbelievable night for Anthony’s Travel , our hard working team , loyal clients, friends and community partners. To win one award was unexpected but three is impossible to sum up in words.  The highlight of the evening personally was when the operations managers won their award , they had no idea they were even finalists it had been kept a closely guarded secret and I am so proud of them. It was an emotional night as my father Tony who founded Anthony’s couldn’t make it due to ill health so we dedicate all of the awards to him as none of this would been possible if He hadn’t purchased that first minicoach back in 1985 , he really is a legend in the coaching industry and it was lovely to see that acknowledged”

The UK Coach Awards scheme is operated and financed by an independent not-for-dividend company, the UK Coach Awards Ltd which is part of Transport Events Group, an organisation established by the UK Bus Awards team especially to organise and run events on behalf of the public transport industry. As well as UK Coach Awards, the group is also responsible for the UK Bus Awards, now in its 20th year and widely respected for their high standards and independence. The events are firm favourites in the industry calendar and generally accepted to be ‘The Oscars’ of the UK bus and coach world.

The UK Coach Awards 2015 were compered by BBC Breakfast’s Carol Kirkwood and the awards themselves were presented by Bill Hiron, President of the Confederation of Passenger Transport. The event was attended by over 200 key players in coach operations around the country.