Archive for 2018

24 hrs a day, 7 days a week

01634 377577

Archive for 2018

Ian Fraser wins Manager of the Year at the routeone Awards 2018

Ian Fraser wins Manager of the Year at the routeone Awards 2018

The Managing Director of The Kings Ferry Travel Group in Kent, Ian Fraser, has won Manager of the Year (for small/medium operators - up to 150 vehicles) at the routeone Awards 2018. The winners were announced on Wednesday 31st October at the annual award ceremony which celebrates the highest performing companies and individuals in the UK’s coach and bus industry.

The Manager of the Year category recognises an individual who excels in their managerial role and Ian Fraser won from a shortlist of four finalists.

Speaking about the recognition he said: “It is a real privilege to have received this award and to work with an outstanding team at The Kings Ferry. The coach industry is highly competitive and we constantly strive to raise standards in all areas and provide customers with exceptional service. I am thrilled that our work has been recognised nationally in this way.”

Ian Fraser has been Managing Director of The Kings Ferry since July 2014, after succeeding in his role as Operators Director. In recent years he has overseen the growth of the business through the acquisition of Clarkes of London in 2016 and more recently, Stewarts Coaches in 2018.

“Our approach has been to focus on maintaining high standards across our core services, while utilising new technologies and being willing to take bold decisions. So far, this approach is working well and it is all down to the quality of our people who are committed to the values of the company and who support one another as a team,” concluded Ian Fraser.

The Route One Awards took place on 31st October 2018 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole


Macmillan Coffee Morning 2018

FREE biscuits on-board our commuter services!

On Friday 28th September we will be taking part in the world’s biggest coffee morning by providing luxurious Border’s biscuits on-board as an extra treat to accompany your morning coffee! All donations are welcomed for this very important cause, to help the fantastic work of Macmillan Cancer Support. If you want to host your own coffee morning in support of one of the largest British charities, there is still plenty of time to do so. Click here to find out more!

Kent’s ‘King’ of coaching celebrates 50 years

The Kings Ferry Coach Hire 50th Anniversary

This September Kent-based coach operator, The Kings Ferry Travel Group, celebrates 50 years on the road. The Kings Ferry is a true local business success story and has grown to become one of the UK’s leading coach companies, providing an extensive range of transport services and winning more than 40 industry awards in the process.

50 years is a notable achievement for the company which was founded in 1968 by Peter O’Neill, who remained at the helm for nearly 40 years before it changed hands and was bought by National Express in 2007.  The Kings Ferry’s core service has always been private coach hire, but over the years it expanded to include daily commuter services to London; VIP coach hire; and corporate travel management for business clients including the BBC, Sky and Premier League football clubs - to name a few.

Named after the Kingsferry Bridge which connects Swale with the Isle of Sheppey, The Kings Ferry has operated out of its Gillingham headquarters for 19 years and today operates a varied fleet of 87 vehicles, ranging from minibuses to 77-seater executive coaches. The company has thrived by remaining adaptable, customer-focused and utilising technology to strengthen its offering and unearth new opportunities.

It is particularly proud of its excellent record in the areas of passenger safety, driver training and environmental sustainability, and has won the coveted title: “UK Coach Operator of the Year” three times in the past seven years.

To mark the 50th anniversary The Kings Ferry has wrapped one of its coaches in a bold livery that is certain to catch-the-eye when out on the road. “It’s sort of like a giant ‘Happy Birthday To Us’ card. We are extremely proud of our longevity and success as a company, and I wish to thank our outstanding team who provide the highest levels of customer service each and every day of the year,” said Managing Director, Ian Fraser. 

Investing in people has been pivotal to its success. “The Kings Ferry understands the key role our drivers and support staff play in providing passengers with a safe, enjoyable and value for money journey. We are always looking to recruit experienced coach drivers to the team, yet also provide full training for people who don’t yet hold a full PCV license. We are proud to be able to provide diverse opportunities within the company for those seeking to develop their career in this sector,” commented Ian Fraser.

The Kings Ferry Travel Group became part of the National Express Group in 2007, and purchased London-based coach operator, Clarkes of London, in December 2016. Since the acquisition, both companies have developed their internal operations alongside expanding services to the public. Importantly, both companies strive for “excellence as standard” and support each other in this goal.

“As we plan for the future, we are committed to keeping the customer front and centre, continually asking: “How can we serve our customers better?” And, as new technological and social opportunities arise in the next decade, we will remain flexible and true to our values, remembering to celebrate each milestone along the way,” concluded Ian Fraser.


  • People must be aged 21 or over to enter the training programmes for new drivers.


The Kings Ferry & Clarkes of London Coach Hire

National Express acquires Stewarts Coach Group

Stewarts Coaches - The Kings Ferry

We are pleased to announce that National Express has completed the purchase of Stewarts Coach Group Limited – an award winning independent coach business with bases in Reading and Leicester.

Stewarts provides corporate travel and private hire services, and operates an established coach day tour and holiday programme in its Leicester based Woods business. Both have a number of major corporate clients in the Thames Valley and Leicester areas and work with a number of Premiership and Championship football clubs. It is a fantastic company with an excellent record of delivering high quality services and is a welcome addition to our business.

In order to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership, the existing Managing Director, Andy Cotton will be staying with the business for a minimum of two years to help make sure we retain the customers and talent that makes this business a success and to drive new business growth opportunities. The businesses will report into Ian Fraser, Managing Director of The Kings Ferry Group.

Stewarts is a high quality operation, with exceptional customers and people. We have no plans to change what has made it a success.

The acquisition helps us strengthen our position in the important corporate travel market, building on The Kings Ferry and Clarkes of London’s strengths in this area. We look forward to maximising the opportunities that this addition to our business offers.

I am sure you will join Ian and myself in welcoming Stewarts to the National Express family.

Picture: Linny Smalley-Ward (General Manager Stewarts Coaches) and Ian Fraser (Managing Director The Kings Ferry Group)

Kent Christmas Party

Kent Christmas Party The Kings Ferry

If you're looking for a great Christmas Party then look no further than the incredible Kent Christmas Party. Any Kings Ferry coach booked exclusively for this event will receive a 15% discount on their coach hire price PLUS a FREE bottle of wine per table courtesy of The Kings Ferry!

Enjoy an evening of Traditional Christmas Extravaganza, with your friends and colleagues this Christmas. There will be welcome drinks and canapés for your party on arrival, followed by a delicious three course Traditional Christmas dinner.


Kent Christmas Party Prices

£49.50 PER PERSON - 7.00 UNTIL 12:30am!


Entrance to our purpose built fully themed traditional Christmas party venue.

Complimentary welcome drinks and canapés and table wine 3 course Christmas feast, plus coffee.

Dance the night away and enjoy some incredible entertainment that includes:

  • Live Music
  • Fun Casino
  • Close up Magician to get the party started
  • Stunning sound and light system
  • Dance floor
  • Top local DJ

Visit the Kent Christmas Party website for more info

Quote Request

Booking terms and conditions Kent Christmas Party

Terms and conditions for Kent Christmas Party ticket holders/ e-tickets holders.

Your ticket is either your e-ticket received from when you make your booking or your email confirmation and receipt issued upon making your final payment. Payment of your full ticket price is acceptance of the following terms and conditions.

  1. The event promoter and/or the venue operator reserves the right in combination with any other statements or directives which may be shown on the ticket or displayed on the website or in the venue to refuse admission or eject a ticket holder or member of the ticket holders group or party for behaviour likely to cause damage, injury or nuisance or annoyance or failure to comply with the reasonable requests of the management of the event.

  2. Conduct safety searches to ensure the safety of patrons if deemed appropriate by the on-site security personnel.

  3. No alcohol to be brought into the venue.

Purchase of a ticket either as an individual or as a group signifies acceptance that:

  1. The venue shall not be liabe for any loss or damage or injury to property or persons within the venue or it's perimeter including car park area.

  2. The venue is observed as a NON SMOKING area except for the designated smoking area.

  3. Tickets may not be exchanged nor money refunded unless the event is cancelled or postponed.

  4. The event organiser may change the programme of the event from that advertised.

  5. If the event is cancelled by the promoter a full refund of the face value of the ticket will be granted unless the ticket has already been used.

  6. No refunds will be granted to ticket holders or to individuals within a group booking if they are unable to attend the event.

  7. If the event is cancelled due to bad weather by the promoter a refund will be given or opportunity to exchange the booking date to another available date.

  8. No refunds will be given to tickets holders or to individuals within a group booking if they are unable to travel to the venue due to poor weather conditions.

  9. Persons under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket.

Your statutory rights are not affected by our terms and conditions.

Not be used in conjunction with another discounted coach hire offer.


Kings Ferry to transport the 2018 Soccer Aid teams!

Soccer Aid 2018 - The Kings Ferry

Soccer Aid - The Driving Force

We are extremely proud to be supporting the biennial charity event, Soccer Aid. We have wrapped two of our coaches in some incredible Soccer Aid graphics, ready to chauffeur the two teams to the main event.

This year see's Soccer Aid co-founder and Unicef UK Ambassdor Robbie Williams captain the England team against the World XI, captained by fastest man in the world Usain Bolt. The two teams host a group famous faces, from hot headed chef's, world famous pop icons and reality TV stars.

To continue with tradition, the event will be taking place in Manchester United's 'theatre of dreams' Old Trafford, which will be welcoming back a number of ex red devil's including the likes of: Michael Owen, Edwin Van Der Sar, new England Lionesses Head Coach Phil Neville and Eric Cantona. Other international footballers that will be walking onto the pitch include Dutch star Patrick Kluivert, Arsenal legend Robert Pires and former Manchester City player Yaya Toure.

The History of Soccer Aid

Soccer Aid is a biennial British charity event that has raised over £20 million in aid of UNICEF UK, through ticket sales and donations from the public. Founded by Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes back in 2006, Soccer Aid has continued to be an ever popular event with both famous stars and the public who watch and support the cause in their millions.

With the event taking place every other year, to date England are winning 4-2 against the Rest of the World Team (Row) in terms of overall wins - but the most dramatic victory came in 2010 when the RoW won in a penalty shoot out 7-6. History as always repeating itself for the England team.

2016's Soccer Aid saw the second highest attendance in history for this event, and with World Cup fever curently in the air, surely this year has got to be the crowning glory for England and the fans? But no matter the result, this incredible charity which we are extremely proud to support funds a tremendous cause. The money raised from such an event helps donate life-saving food, vaccines, clean water and protection from violence to millions of children around the world. Soccer Aid and your support is doing everything it can to ensure that more children get the chance to live a happy, healthy and safe childhood.

Soccer Aid: England vs The World XI, Sunday 10th June, Kick-Off 8pm

For more information on Soccer Aid and how you can watch the game please visit

Our visit to Demelza House

The Kings Ferry - Demelza House

Our visit to Demelza House

Each and every year, The Kings Ferry support a number of chosen charities, offering both our coach services and monetary support, funded by our internal efforts to raise money through: bake sales, dress down days, themed events and much more.

One charity we regularly choose to support is Demelza Hospice Care for Children. The charity works tirelessly to make life better for babies, children and young people who have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions, and to support their parents, brothers and sisters, and all those who love them.

Demelza have been providing this care since 1998 and, through the generosity of others, can continue to be there for families for years to come: Helping those who may not live a long life, to live a full life.

In April 2018, two members of The Kings Ferry Engagement Team, Cassie and Gemma, took a trip to Demelza House in Sittingbourne to find out what more The Kings Ferry can do to support this fantastic charity, but also to really understand how a donation, no matter how big or how small can really make a difference to the support and care the Demelza offers, and to the lives of those that Demelza cares for.

Until you walk into the hospice, your initial thoughts would probably be along the same lines are ours – and that the house would be a very sad place, and that children come here for one reason. Of course, there are some extremely heart wrenching elements to the hospice, but what is inside truly does take your breath away. From the vibrant sensory rooms and the incredible support of all the staff and volunteers. And one extremely important factor to note is that even though the hospice does offer rooms to those reaching the end of their short yet incredible lives, the charity is a support network for children and their families, offering an escape from day to day life, with no fear for the child’s safety. The care team are fully trained to deal with any incidents, so the family can relax and feel safe in the knowledge that their loved ones are in the perfect environment.

Children and their families can chose when they wish to visit the hospice, and many children book days together with friends they have made at Demelza House to really make the most of their time there; and if one child cannot make it, they rearrange their day to make sure they are together – now that really does show you the beautiful, heart-warming side of Demelza House.

The Kings Ferry - Demelza House

Through our tour of Demelza, we discovered incredible facilities; from hydrotherapy pools, soft play rooms with built in sensory activities, to rooms built for young adults, with games consoles and kitchen facilities to enable them to have that sense of freedom and responsibility that they might not quite get anywhere else.

Our initial thoughts of sadness and pain were immediately overpowered by the happiness that fills the walls and rooms of Demelza House. The continuous strokes of colour, the large garden area with a play ship and pond, to the music and art rooms that allow children to really express themselves when they may have the inability to do so verbally or physically. This was far beyond our expectations and immediately changed our perspective on what Demelza House is truly about.

The Kings Ferry - Demelza House


“Demelza House is honestly a beautiful place. Yes there are some sad areas, but the charity is not about that. The work the staff and volunteers do here is phenomenal, and the really do make a huge difference. I have visited here previously, and even upon my return I am taken back by the incredible work and even by how happy everyone here is. It is an incredible place full of happiness – the team really deserves all the credit they get and more!”

Gemma, The Kings Ferry



For those who do live out their life in this incredible sanctuary of joy and happiness, the team go the extra mile to help the bereaved and to allow the memory of loved ones to live on. Set out at the back of the house is a beautiful garden which hosts a pond filled with stones. Each stone has a name upon it of a loved one who spent their time at the hospice. It is an area where family and friends can cherish fond and special memories, where the children are never forgotten and where families are able to come together to celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us.

The Kings Ferry - Demelza House

“Visiting Demelza really opened my eyes to what an amazing charity they are. It is an emotional place to visit but not in a sad way, it shows the difference a place like this can have and turns what is a difficult period in someone’s life into a more uplifting and positive experience than it would be without Demelza. We’ve all read about the charity, seen videos and photos but seeing the place in person put everything into perspective. From the importance of the donations that are made, no matter how big or small they may be, to the volunteers who help out and the staff who work day in day out to improve people’s quality of life and help give them as much of a normal childhood as they can. Demelza really are such a remarkable charity.”

                                             Cassie , The Kings Ferry


Every penny donated to the charity goes a long way to supporting the children, staff and enabling the purchase of equipment that is used to care for the children and make their time at Demelza that extra bit special. The charity need to raise £10.5 million a year to continue running. Unfortunately, the government funding only makes up 20% of this target, the rest is funded through their own charity events and of course the support from others. Just £60 can give a child a therapy session in music and art, and £1,000 covers a single nights’ care in the hospice. From this you can see not only how every donation makes a different, but that the charity really does need everyone’s support.

This year, members of The Kings Ferry team are taking part in September’s London to Brighton Bike Ride for Demelza House. As a team we would be grateful for your support, but the reason behind this event is much bigger than us, so to help make a difference in a child’s life, please visit our Just Giving Page or share this post.

A word from Demelza…

Demelza Hospice Care for Children provides vital care to seriously and terminally ill children and their loved ones across Kent, South East London and East Sussex. Demelza cares for 650 children and their families each year and has a hospice in Sittingbourne and in Eltham. Demelza is reliant on support from the public so we are grateful to be chosen as one of the charities for Kings Ferry!

Clients we are proud to have worked with:

Get a Quote