ANDREW JAROSZ reports from the fifth UK Coach Rally in Blackpool
Returning to Blackpool for the fifth time, the 67th UK Coach Rally held its weekend event on April 1-2, with regular entrants snapping up the awards for both elegant vehicles and skilled drivers.
The ‘Coach of the Year’ award went for the fourth successive year to Van Hool with a magnificently presented TX16 Acron owned by A&P Travel of Sleaford. As well as winning the top prize for the second time, the coach picked up five additional awards including one for ‘Top Luxury Coach’, and top coach from a fleet of up to five vehicles, top Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) member, and the trophy for highest placed UK Coach Operators Association member in all classes.
The ‘Coach Driver of the Year’ award was won by Daryl Dixon of Bibby’s, while his runner up was Chris Bibby, a director of the same firm. The two sets of driving tests, on the seafront, were scored on the driver’s ability to judge the vehicle’s length, width, and wheel alignment, as well as in parallel parking. Coaches over 13m had considerable difficulties with reversing movements and coming out of tight garages, where rear overhangs proved a problem. The most common faults were stopping short when reversing into the garage, and misjudging the parallel parking, where the whole movement had to be completed in one manoeuvre.