So, as it happened the black dinner jacket was dusted off and black shiny shoes polished, and of course the black dickie bow tie was taken out of retirement, and given an airing at the rather splendid Hilton Metropole Hotel, located in the heart of the NEC complex. Almost 750 guests arrived and were entertained to a champagne reception before the bugle was blown and we all took our seats at the splendidly appointed tables. The uTrack table was very nicely positioned towards the front of the stage offering first class views of the awards themselves.

Once our guests had been safely gathered the rather fine wine flowed as our guests got into the swing of the evening. We were delighted to welcome a number of very high profile Bus industry guests from across the UK and Ireland. One of the best things about such events is the friendships that are not only made but also in many cases reinforced, business is often just as much about the personal relationships as it is about the products of business that are brought and sold. Indeed in my experience trust is very often the key to building long term relationships, and this has been at the very heart of the uTrack philosophy, it was always said that long term relationships were always the goal. In fact when I reflect upon that now, and the fact that we have now enjoyed a great partnership with National Express that has endured over the last ten years, it is endemic of that philosophy.

The reason why we choose to support such events, like the Route One Awards is because we believe that it is crucial to support the best of the UK Bus and Coach industry. For the same reason I have also personally supported the UK bus Awards via the Bus and Coach forum, for precisely the same reason. Good practise and good people should always be celebrated and that is why these events are so important. The particular sponsorship that we fund is the yearly entertainment that is offered as the awards are presented, we enjoy this role as it makes people laugh and by default hopefully brings some happiness to this confusing world. The comedian this year was Hugh Dennis, he was very good, great material, good ad libs and very personable. He is best known for his BBC sitcom “Outnumbered” about modern family life, as well as a plethora of other well known TV shows and radio productions.

So will we sponsor the awards next year, yes, we most certainly will, it is a worthwhile cause and is also a small way of giving back to this great industry. We have worked hard at uTrack to build up our teams both in Ireland and in the UK. In the last three years Eamonn and myself have set up 4 offices from the Jewellery Quarter, to Sutton Coldfield, then iCentrum, and now our final and best destination Bennett’s Hill right in the very heart of Birmingham City centre. And the awards night was a fantastic way to introduce new members of our team to our guest clients, so well done Andy, James, Abi, and Linet, it also introduced them to the Industry and all that it represents, so all in all a great doo, as they say up north.

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