Belle Vue Coaches awards hat-trick

Belle Vue staff celebrate their triumphs at the 2016 UK Coach Awards
Belle Vue staff celebrate their triumphs at the 2016 UK Coach Awards

Stockport’s Belle Vue Coaches picked up three top honours at a national awards ceremony.

The firm won the best coach industry brand category at the UK Coach Awards, while staff members Rik Tapper and Shannon Meakin scooped individual accolades.

Rik, a transport consultant at Belle Vue, won the customer service prize while Shannon won the unsung heroes award. Her colleague Donna Thompson, who is Belle Vue’s head of operations, was specially commended in that category.

Belle Vue took silver in the category for top medium-fleet operator, while John Gilbody was awarded bronze in the top UK coach driver category.

The awards were presented at a gala dinner at Manchester’s Mercure Piccadilly Hotel.

Rik, 42, who lives in Stockport, joined Belle Vue in 2009 as a driver. His current role involves co-ordinating transport for large events as well as sales and managing his own customer base.

Once, when a coach taking a group of children to Disneyland Paris broke down and the required part would take four days to obtain, he and a colleague drove a replacement vehicle through the night to meet the party in the French capital so they could continue their tour without any delay.

Belle Vue managing director Phil Hitchen said: “Rik embodies what makes our company special. He’s a true gem who constantly goes the extra mile on behalf of our customers.”

Shannon, 19, joined the company in 2013 and works as a data processor. The teenager, who also lives in Stockport, maintains vehicle records and documents, manages vehicle maintenance schedules, stock ordering and charity activities.

Phil said: “She’s a highly-valued member of our team who has gradually taken on more responsibilities. Shannon has exceptional potential and her contribution to the business has helped to enhance our reputation as a quality brand.

“We’re delighted she and Rik have been honoured and we are also very pleased to have won the best coach brand. It’s great to be acknowledged as the best in the UK in a variety of categories.”

Belle Vue won the best coach industry brand for its role as a transport supplier to education authorities across Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

Phil added: “We’ve invested a lot of time and money with the aim of becoming the number one transport provider to schools, colleges and universities based on value, quality, reliability and safety.

“We’ve applied the same principles to other aspects of the business, which has helped us gain new contracts.”