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March 07 2018
By Mike Morgan

Mike is the Associate Editor at routeONE magazine has been a full-time road transport journalist for over 30 years and was routeONE’s founding editor

routeone Awards: Who is
outstanding? Nominate them now!

The routeone Awards is our way of extending support to the coach and bus industry and is specifically designed to reward outstanding operators.

For the winners, there’s the kudos that flows from being recognised by the industry as being the best in the business. There’s a trophy and certificate presented at an event guaranteed to win maximum national exposure.

Winners in previous years have not been slow to take advantage of the opportunity to promote their success through their local media, and then throughout the year on their vehicles, letterheads, brochures, etc. Winning really does present invaluable marketing opportunities that can only boost their business.

Starting now

The road to success for our 2018 winners starts here, allowing sufficient time for nomination, shortlisting and final judging.

It’s a process that out of necessity ensures that entry information is comprehensive, the judging meticulous and the results credible.

Among the 16 categories there are 10 for operators and six for people, while, new this year is the Rising Star category, introduced at the request of the judges because they have become increasing aware that there are some excellent high-calibre people in the early stages of their career who deserve recognition but have yet to acquire sufficient experience to achieve promotion to the industry’s top jobs.

This change follows the successful introduction of the two Best Use of Technology categories in 2017.

Other changes this year reflect structural changes in the industry. Consequently, the categories for Small Bus Operator and Medium Bus Operator have been merged and the threshold between medium bus operator and large bus operator has reverted to 150 vehicles rather than 200 vehicles. A similar tweak has been applied to other appropriate categories.

Why you?

The fundamental principal that has underpinned the routeone Awards since its launch in 2005 remains unchanged – i.e. it is for the industry, by the industry.

It has now become firmly established that all the 16 routeone Awards categories are solely for operators and their staff – i.e. for the industry. But of equal significance is the process of nomination, which has been and will again be by the industry – i.e. you are the ones who have a say in who the potential winners should be.

It’s only through nomination that an operator stands any chance of being a finalist. Although nominations are invited from manufacturers, dealers and suppliers, nominations for the ‘people’ categories – i.e. Manager (small/medium and large), Engineer (small/medium and large), Rising Star, and Special Award – are welcome either from third party recommendation, or by self-nomination endorsed by your managing director or business proprietor.

Your nominations are in complete confidence and they will help decide who will be put forward as finalists in this year’s routeone Awards.

Excellence is the by-word and the aim, as always, is to identify and reward the best operators and people in all sectors.

The categories are:

1. Operator Training Award

2. Manager of the Year, small/medium operator (up to 150 vehicles)

3. Manager of the Year, large operator (over 150 vehicles)

4. Engineer of the Year, small/medium operator (up to 150 vehicles)

5. Engineer of the Year, large operator (over 150 vehicles)

6. Rising Star 2018

7. Best Use of Technology (up to 150 vehicles)

8. Best Use of Technology (over 150 vehicles)

9. Environment Award

10. Excellence in Minibus Operation

11. Small Coach Operator of the Year (1-15 vehicles)

12. Medium Coach Operator of the Year (16-50 vehicles) 

13. Small/Medium Bus Operator of the Year (1-150 vehicles)

14. Large Coach Operator of the Year (over 50 vehicles)

15. Large Bus Operator of the Year (over 150 vehicles)

16. Special Award

Next stage

Once the nominations close on 6 April all nominees will be asked to complete an entry form with information that will enable the panel of judges to determine the shortlists when they meet in June.

These finalists will then be invited to submit detailed supplementary information before the final decisions on the winners are made in August.

In the event of the judges needing further evidence, they will arrange to either visit or interview finalists.

For an operator, there are three steps to winning. First the industry must nominate you. Second you must be shortlisted by the judges. Third you must convince the judges that you are the best.

As an individual manager or engineer there are also three steps, and three possible routes to nomination. In addition to being recommended by the supply side of the industry, you can be brought to the attention of the judges by a nomination endorsed by your managing director or business proprietor. There’s also the prospect or your name emerging through your company’s submission for one of the ‘operator’ awards.

The judges

The experienced and dedicated five-strong judging panel is chaired by former routeone Editor Mike Morgan and includes Steve Dewhurst, Chris Heaps, Tony Kennan, Peter Nash, and Kevin Wood.

Mike Morgan steered routeone from its launch in 2003 to its market-leading position when he stepped down as Editor in 2014.

Steve Dewhurst was Managing Director of Volvo Bus for eight years until he retired in 2013. This is his fourth year as a judge.

Chris Heaps is a long-standing routeone Awards judge. From 1997 to 2000 he was the Traffic Commissioner for the Western Traffic Area, moving to the South Eastern & Metropolitan Traffic Area between 2000 and 2007.

Tony Kennan continues as a judge for a seventh year. He was one of the founding directors of The Proudmutual Transport Group, which was established on 6 March 1987 with a view to acquiring parts of the privatised National Bus Company.

Peter Nash is also now in his seventh year as a judge. Formerly Commercial Director of Busways Travel Services Ltd, sold to Stagecoach in 1994, in 1999 he became Head of Commercial Policy for Stagecoach UK Bus.

Kevin Wood spent his working life in coach sales, spending the last 27 years with Plaxton at Scarborough. He was a member of the management buyout team that saved Plaxton in the wake of parent company Mayflower going into administration in 2004. Plaxton was subsequently sold to Alexander Dennis (ADL) and Kevin became Sales Director until taking partial retirement in 2015. This is his third year as a routeone Awards judge.

The fact that the routeone Awards goes from strength to strength in its 14th year and is acclaimed as the most prestigious event in the coach and bus industry calendar is in no small way down to the integrity of the judges.


The date is set and the wheels are in motion for Diversified Communications to deliver the 14th annual routeone Awards on 31 October in the Monarch Suite at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel adjacent to the NEC, Birmingham.

Timed to coincide with this year’s PSV industry show – Euro Bus Expo at the NEC 30 October-1 November – the Awards is the perfect high-profile and proven event for the industry to celebrate achievements and excellence.

It will again be a spectacular celebration that will live up to the enviable reputation the event has earned over the past 13 years as simply the best of its kind. It’s no wonder that each year the routeone Awards has been sell-out event weeks before, filling to capacity the Hilton Birmingham Metropole’s largest function room. This year promises to be no exception.

The routeone Awards is for those who have been judged as the best in the industry. But it is equally an opportunity for everyone in the coach and bus industry to celebrate its successes. That’s why our annual presentation evening is such always a high-profile event with a top-level presenter and top-notch entertainment.

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed Strictly Come Dancing star Katie Derham as our host in 2017. While highly-acclaimed comedian Hal Cruttenden took to the stage to round-off the evening.

But first, we need your nominations for the 16 categories.

Using the form on the routeone Awards website the supply side of the industry – manufacturers, dealers, suppliers – is invited to name those who deserve to be identified as potential winners.

Don’t miss your chance to nominate via the routeone Awards website. The deadline is 6 April.

For further information visit

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