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 2014.

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.

Eastons' highly praised driver Gary Hipperson.Winner, Gold Award, Gary Hipperson - AW Eastons Coaches

Coach driver Gary Hipperson prompts a steady stream of compliments from customers of AW Eastons in Norwich. "A credit to your company", "very thoughtful and helpful to his passengers" and "always cheerful and willing to help" are just a few of the commendations he has received from customers. His employer is equally effusive: "Gary is a true ambassador for us at Eastons and leads by example."

With a career in the industry dating back 18 years, but a family connection through having both a father and a brother as coach tour drivers, Gary has certainly been steeped in the traditions of the profession. The judges were really impressed by Gary's technical and custmer-facing skills as well as his determination to pass his skills and experience on to other members of the Eastons team. A worthy Gold winner indeed.

Alfa Coaches' driver Chris Wellman.Winner, Silver Award, Christopher Wellman - Alfa Coaches

Alfa Travel describes driver, Chris Wellman, as "an excellent ambassador and assest to the company". We know when Chris is on a tour that our coach and passengers are in safe hands." His passengers are equally happy when Chris goes that extra mile: "He came to every table at breakfast to check that all his passengers were happy," commented one satisfied cutsomer.

With almost ten years experience as a coach driver, it is clear that Chris Wellman is another of this very special breed who posses the combination of technical and inter-personal skills to be a true professional who brings a passion for his job. In a very tight contest, he ran our Gold winner very close, but the judges were delighted to be able to make this Silver Award.

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 2014.

…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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