I as fortunate enough to attend the prestigious UK Coach awards at the Mercure hotel slap bang in the heart of Manchester. It was as you might expect a glitzy affair hosted by the excellent Carol Kirkwood better known as the lady who presents the weather forecast on the BBC Breakfast news. The event brings together the very best of the coach industry’s movers and shakers.

It is a good chance to also get a good steer on the direction that the Industry is going with categories reflecting all elements of the coach product. From inter city coach travel, through to holidays, tours, and private hires, the rich tapestry of the coach offering is applauded in hard fought judging panels to seek out the best of the best, not an easy job.  In addition most important the best drivers go head to head to battle out who will win the much sought after title of becoming the UK’s best coach driver.

As you might expect the awards attract the attention from across the  vast range of the industry, from the giants like National Express Coach, through to the small but perfectly formed family Companies who faithfully serve their their local communities day in day out,come what may. And this is the point I believe about the Coach industry, it supplies a unique but often taken for granted service to the underbelly of the communities. The thousands of school children who learn to swim, attend places of historic interest. The tens of thousands of clubs and organisations that are dependant on travelling the country attending events and competitions. Not to mention the millions of coach travellers who use the extensive network of excellent quality commercial services supplied daily by the likes of.National Express Megabus, The Oxford Tube, and Greenline, the list goes on

Indeed, if you magically overnight stopped every coach from operating it would not take long for society to unravel as the education and student system would collapse. So there are very clear and real reasons why the Coach should be celebrated and recognised, it supplies an invaluable but unsung service to pour way of life..