Buses to compete at the UK Coach Rally

Buses to compete at the UK Coach Rally Buses to compete at the UK Coach Rally
The UK Coach Rally, which takes place on 21-22 April, is gearing up for business with confirmed bookings ahead of last year and the organisers hope to beat last year’s total with a target of 80 entries. For the 58th rally there is a new team, including Steve Telling and John Cousins who have joined Paul and Ann Cousins on the board as directors, as well a new award for buses and bus drivers. A new administrator, Wendy Cachin, has also been appointed to support the event and will act as a contact point for companies entering the rally.

Steve Telling says that the move to the East of England Showground at Peterborough two years ago was vital for the event to continue to develop. He stresses that the bus category has been introduced to recognise the reality that many independent operators run buses as well as coaches.

Telling has been passionate about the rally throughout his career and sees it as an event which recognises people as well as highlighting the vehicles on display. “The most important people at the rally are the drivers,” says Telling.

This year there will be some changes to the arrangements which will see the trade stands located outside alongside the coaches, rather than in the exhibition hall. There will be some internal stands however with a group of CPT supplier members taking up position in the atrium, supported by live displays from West Midlands Safari Park. In terms of prizes, the winner of the "all classes" category will be singled out as one of the premier awards alongside the coach and coach driver of the year, and will receive the Alan Goodwin Trophy – Highest Placed Coach Operator in All Classes.

Among the entrants for the rally are some who have not attended before and some who have been absent for many years including Lucketts, Epsom Coaches, The Kings Ferry and Panther.  Paul Winson is one of those entering for the new bus category.

The display of vintage vehicles will again be a feature at the rally and sponsors include Gauntlet who are supporting the driving tests, and Wrightsure who are supporting the Coach Driver of the Year award. Companies taking trade stands include BASE, Irizar UK, Caetano, Moseley in the South, Dawsonrentals, Arriva Bus & Coach, MAN and VOSA.

The dinner and dance will take place on the Saturday night in the Cambridge Suite and early booking is recommended as the maximum of 300 guests is quickly reached. Tickets are £58 plus VAT for dinner and entertainment including a band and fun casino. A pre-dinner reception will be hosted by the East of England Showground.

Companies who wish to enter the rally can contact the administrator on 07885 825133. Visitors who pre-register on the rally website will get a free copy of the rally programme, which is being produced by Bus and Coach Professional.