A COUNTY Tyrone bus company has came out tops at a prestigious award ceremony recognising those in the transport industry.
Ardboe bus firm J&K Coaches scooped three awards for their service, staff and vehicle fleet at The Federation of Passenger Transport, Northern Ireland, LTD (FPT NI) annual Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony.
The event was held at the Galgorm Hotel where some 200 members and guests attended the event.
FPT NI is the trade body promoting the use of public transport and represents the provinces leading bus and coach operators. Environment Minister Alex Attwood was a special guest at the event and handed over some of the award to the best of Northern Ireland’s Transport industry.
The County Tyrone firm, based in Ardboe Business Park, scooped the awards for Best Pre-Owned Coach and Most Improved Operators.
J&K Coach driver Sean Hampsey was also awarded the prestigious title of Coach Driver of the Year at the glittering awards do.
The evening was very well supported by key industry suppliers including Mercedes, Plaxton, Scania, Volvo, EVM Ltd, and other local service providers.
The financial, insurance and legal services sector was also represented, and among the local businesses who attended were Wrightbus, Junction One and AutoBlue. Karen Magill, the Federation‘s Chief Executive said the evening was about celebrating the passenger transport industry and recognising and rewarding the hard work, commitment and devotion of the men and women who make sure that passengers are safe and that the wheels keep turning.
She then went on to detail 2011 and highlighted the fact that despite the downturn in the economy and the ever increasing fuel costs, that FPTNI members had still managed to improve their offer for passengers by maintaining prices, investing in new technology, vehicles and premises.
Minister Alex Attwood also praised the industry for the “massive contribution” it makes to local economy both in terms of serving the public and the employment it provides. He praised the FPT NI members for the high standards they were setting and the responsible way they carry out their business.
It is not the first time the Ardboe bus firm has been awarded for its standards.
The company has won numerous industry awards including an Industry Civic Award from Cookstown District Council for its outstanding contribution to the area. J&K were also crowned the FPTNI Industry Newcomer for 2009-2010.