Archive for September 2018

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Archive for September 2018

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)

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