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Shining a Spotlight on National Coach Week: Why It Matters

Shining a Spotlight on National Coach Week: Why It Matters

This week is a special week. Why, you may ask? This week celebrates an often underrated but essential form of transport that does not get the recognition that it so richly deserves. The humble coach is a versatile and reliable workhorse. It gets people to their destinations, be that through interurban express services taking people across the nation, to the airport, and the ferries. Or the holidaymaker going on highland tours, or the day-tripper off to explore new destinations, or taking clubs to play their sports, or the rock fan attending gigs across the length and breadth of the nation; the coach delivers day in, day out. Even on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon, when the train won’t operate, who turns up and takes people on to their destination? The often invisible form of transport just gets on with it 365 days a year, day or night. But oddly enough, the great British public just seems to think it happens as if by magic.

But it is not magic that makes the coach work. It is not just the dedicated drivers who navigate the roads with professional care and precision, or the teams of people who you do not see, who coordinate the schedules and contracts, who ensure the vehicles are safe, compliant, clean, and well-presented, along with the customer service crews who offer that premium service. This week, from the 8th to the 12th of April, we celebrate all that is good about the coach industry and attempts to put its contribution to the nation’s day-to-day well-being, by transporting millions of people week in, week out.

This is the third National Coach Week and is designed to increase awareness of how vital the coach is in supporting local businesses in the communities that they serve, as well as boosting the national economy. It is an industry that employs over 45,000 people, and National Coach Week raises political attention to the key part that the coach plays in keeping the economy moving. Would you believe that over half a million school and college students are taken to and returned from their place of education every day? The coach really is the unsung hero, and whenever planes get diverted or trains find leaves on the line, guess who turns up to make sure people can get home safely.

The RHA (Road Haulage Association), who organizes National Coach Week, will be launching their “Manifesto for the Coach Industry,” designed to lobby both national and local governments to address the key issues affecting the industry. These crucial factors include achieving net zero emissions, improving roadside facilities, addressing skills shortages, facilitating international travel, as well as managing ever-rising costs like insurance.

Here at uTrack, we have served the coach industry from the outset, working with National Express Coach for 14 years, as well as many other highly regarded coach companies. We genuinely appreciate just what a pivotal part the coach companies play in the everyday lives of millions of people, not only in the UK but also in Ireland and the USA. Working with the likes of Dublin Express, Coach USA, Megabus North America, Scottish Citylink, First Student, Bus Eireann, Redcoach, and Salt Lake Express, we understand the complexity of this fascinating industry. We have contributed to its transformation with highly innovative award-winning software solutions and systems.

At uTrack, we are justifiably proud to support this worthy initiative. The coach deserves the recognition that it sadly does not get. However, it is really important that all of us within the industry do our best to support and lobby, especially when it comes to vital policies both at local and national levels. Issues such as allowing coaches to penetrate the hearts of city and town centers, also allowing decent parking facilities, as well as supporting initiatives to overcome the challenge of driver shortage, are all vital to the future of this wonderful industry. And we will keep advocating for the coach, helping the industry get the recognition that it so richly deserves.

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