Operators from the four provinces of Ireland honoured at the Fleet Bus & Coach Awards 2024
VDL/DAF, Noone, Higer, Volvo Bus and Maxus claim awards in the Coach of the Year categories
Bus and Coach operators from all across the country were honoured at the Fleet Bus & Coach Awards Gala Banquet, held at the Johnstown Estate Hotel, Enfield, County Meath on Thursday 16 November with JF Dunne Insurance as Title Sponsor for the Awards.
Organised and hosted by Fleet Publications, the showcase event, which acknowledges best practice and customer service excellence has been re-established after a few years’ absence due to the global pandemic.
Compèred by TV celebrity Sile Seoige, a great night of tributes, music and entertainment were among the highlights, topped by a very special guest appearance by the legendary singer Tony Christie, who brought the gathering to their feet singing along to his most famous recording “Amarillo”.
First award of the event, Services to the Passenger Transport Industry was presented to Caoimhe Kavanagh, Pierce Kavanagh Coaches, Urlingford for her continuous campaigning and work behind the scenes on behalf of bus and coach operators.
Long established family business O’Callaghan Coaches (Kerry) was successful in winning the Coach Operator Award 2024 – Town/City Service & Local Link Provider sponsored by EVM, while victorious in the Coach Operator Award 2024 – Inter City/Airport Service – sponsored by AdTec Aerauto Ltd was Dublin Express.
Belgian coachbuilder Van Hool, sponsored the Coach Operator of the Year 2024 –Tours which was won by Cronin’s Coaches, Cork, with the Tour Organiser & Coach Provider category, sponsored by Volvo Bus, going to Pierce Kavanagh Coaches, Urlingford, County Kilkenny.
The Bus Operator Award 2024 – 10 or less Vehicles classification – sponsored by Clarke Autowash, saw Collins Travel (Monaghan) being presented with this trophy. Within the same classification but for Bus Operator Award – More than 10 Vehicles – Donoghue’s of Galway, was acknowledged with this title.
The Safety Practice Award 2024 went to Aircoach, while the School Bus Operator Award 2024 sponsored by Close Brothers Commercial Finance was handed over to Brigdale Coaches, Clarecastle, County Clare.
Probably the most difficult category to choose a winner was the Livery & Corporate Identity Award 2024 sponsored by Brian Noone Ltd, with Galway headquartered Irish Citylink /Go Bus, favouring the judging panel’s eyes with its creativity in this direction.
Two other important categories were Care for the Environment Award 2024 – Sponsored by M50 Truck & Van Centre, which went to Spain’s Coach Hire & Luxury Irish Tours, Loughrea, Galway, with the Investment in Innovation Award 2024 – sponsored by Coach Tourism & Transport Council, heading to West Cork with Dave Long Coach Hire.
Finally and for the first occasion, the Women in Passenger Transport Award 2024 – sponsored by Harris Group, paid tribute to the many women working in various roles and departments in this sector. Making a big impression was Siobhan O’Hara – Corduff Travel, Mayo, a worthy winner.
Complimenting the prize winners, Jarlath Sweeney, Managing Editor, Fleet Bus & Coach said: “Congratulations to all of the prize winners, who thoroughly deserved their awards for their fine services to the public and to tourism visitors. With more and more taking to the bus and coach, it augers well for the industry and shows that the great service provided by operators is being acknowledged and recognised. Hopefully these honours presented will further promote positivity in the industry, which is so important to the Irish economy.”
Five leading bus and coach manufacturers received recognition for their achievements at the Irish Coach of the Year Awards 2024 which were sponsored by Close Brothers Commercial Finance.
The winner of Irish Coach of the Year 2024 was the VDL/DAF Double Deck Coach, while the Noone Turas 700 S (Iveco) took the accolade for Irish Midi-Coach of the Year 2024.
Three awards were presented in the ever more important Electric segment. The Higer Azure 12 metre won the Irish Electric Coach of the Year 2024 category. Volvo Bus BZL was successful in the Irish Electric Bus Drivetrain Award 2024, while the Maxus eDeliver 9 claimed the honours for Irish Electric Mini-Bus of the Year 2024.
The final accolade – a Special Merit award for Wheelchair Accessibility was presented to Brian Noone Ltd for its Noone Turas 900 S (DAF).