August 26 2021
Andrew McGuinness, CPT’s Regional Manager for the North of England, writes about his experience on his recent coach trip with Bibby’s Coaches, and the benefits of places with coach friendly policies.
Some months ago, CPT President Jane Cole asked me for support in looking at options for a coach trip. I was also thinking along similar lines so there started the idea of a joint holiday!
On this occasion we picked Bibby’s Coaches. The pick-up locations suited Jane, who travelled in luxury on board a coach and arrived in Hartlepool looking splendid. In contrast I caught the train to intercept the coach, which included a very hot train carriage, a platform change and mass sprint with one minute before the train arrived. The benefits of a VIP door to door coach service really felt live to me at that point!
Our driver Chris Bibby was excellent. Chris made us all feel safe on board and he was a great industry ambassador and expert, keeping the group informed about our whereabouts, what we could do and where we could find out any information we needed. A printed map of Durham city with his mobile number was a simple but very reassuring touch.
The coach parking at our hotel made the VIP experience you get with coach even better. We parked up with ease it took just 5 minutes from us arriving at the hotel coach park to opening the door of my room.
On Saturday night we visited the excellent Kynren but equally as important was seeing the number of coaches from various operators, speaking to drivers and hurriedly getting them together for a picture! The attraction was very welcoming to groups and all staff were brilliant accommodating people arriving by coach with their signposting and friendliness; not the kind of VIP treatment you get when arriving by car and the battle to find a parking space.
Something important I took away from this trip was seeing the benefits of places that actively welcome coaches. Coach parking, signposting, and the friendly faces greeting us made us passengers and driver Chris feel relaxed.
In summary, ‘VIP standard’ was my biggest take away from the trip. The attractions we visited were coach-friendly, seats on board the coach were luxurious, it was fitted with all modern amenities, Chris took excellent care of us, and we didn’t queue for anything – we were swiftly looked after.
I would encourage all of our members and especially our bus and supplier members, if you haven’t tried a coach holiday, give it a go!