08/10/2013 - Stewarts Coaches’ Commitment To Safety And Service Excellence Earns Coveted National Industry Award
Success at the Route One Operator Excellence Awards
Stewarts Coaches' commitment to safety and outstanding service helped the company to achieve national recognition in the Route One Operator Excellence Awards last week. The Berkshire-based transport company beat off tough competition to collect the prestigious "Coach Operator of the Year Award" in the 16-50 vehicle category.
Originally established in Reading in 1986 as a small taxi and mini-coach business, Stewarts Coaches now employs more than 60 staff and boasts an extensive fleet of 41 high specification vehicles - from luxurious 16-seat minibuses to full size touring coaches, state-of-the-art buses and a magnificent "team coach", which offers full hospitality facilities. The company provides transport services to clients in both the public and private sectors, as well as to private individuals.
Stewarts focuses on maintaining exceptional safety standards and delivering the highest levels of service. The company operates a no lease policy - choosing to purchase all vehicles and conduct all maintenance in-house to ensure full knowledge of vehicle usage and condition. Stewarts has invested over £4 million in its fleet replacement programme over the past 18 months alone.
"Passenger comfort and safety are our highest priorities", says Stewarts Coaches' Managing Director and co-owner Andy Cotton. "It's obviously important to offer a friendly and reliable service, but the safety of our passengers and our drivers always comes first. All our vehicles are less than five years old and we pay meticulous attention to vehicle maintenance, and to driver training and welfare."
Stewarts Coaches' Chairman and co-owner Chris Howell is absolutely delighted that they have won a top industry award. "We are obviously delighted that our commitment to the delivery of high standards has been recognised by the Route One Operator Excellence Awards", he says.
Stewarts Coaches' investment in new vehicles, use of the latest technology and impressive new premises were just three of the reasons highlighted by the judges who awarded the "Coach Operator of the Year" title.
Operating from new premises at Headley Park, Woodley, Stewarts has state-of-the-art engineering facilities, which have enabled additional improvements to vehicle testing and maintenance, as well as facilitating further innovation and expansion. Automatic counting technology feeds real-time passenger loading information to the control centre at Woodley, and Stewarts is also the first operator to trial a "magic eye" safety system, which is designed to monitor road risks and combat driver fatigue.
"The transport industry is incredibly competitive and we're all under pressure to keep costs to a minimum, but Stewarts will never compromise safety or service quality", says Chris. "Knowing the exact status of each of our vehicles - and the conditions facing each of our drivers - enables us to make adjustments to our services and run a safe and highly efficient operation."
Technology also enables Stewarts' customers to keep an eye on the progress of each vehicle on a live tracking system through the company's website, whilst real-time passenger announcements on our corporate bus services keep passengers well informed once they are onboard - where they are also able to access free WiFi.
"We want to continue to lead the industry in terms of safety measures, customer service standards and innovation", adds Andy. "The fact that we're willing to embrace new technology enables us to offer the most impressive, reliable and punctual fleet of vehicles. That's why we're able to win new business, as well as keeping a very loyal base of long-term customers.
"Our investment in new vehicles and our use of the latest Eco friendly engine technologies further underpins our ambition in providing our clients with the very best all round service that the industry has to offer."
Stewarts Coaches' team received praise from the Excellence Awards judges for obviously sharing "the passion and commitment of its owner".
"Everyone at Stewarts -drivers, vehicle maintenance workers and office staff - understands exactly what we want to achieve and plays an important part in our success" Chris concludes. "We're all very proud of what we've achieved so far and we run a transport business so we're determined to keep moving forward!"