Archive for November 2019

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Archive for November 2019

Road Safety Week 2019

It’s Road Safety Week and we’ve been busy supporting the charity Brake with their initiative to ‘Step Up For Safe Streets’.

All this week we have been taking part in various activities held by the Driver Training teams at The Kings Ferry Group. It has been a Group wide effort with the teams at The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Stewarts Coaches and Woods Coaches all getting involved and helping raise money for this fantastic cause. 


To kick off the week-long activities, we were out in the yard at 4am cooking delicious bacon and sausage rolls for our early morning drivers. Needless to say, they went on their way with satisfied bellies and fuel for the day. 
Clarkes of London early morning breakfast for drivers
During the day, most of our commuter drivers stay at the Millwall coach park until their evening commute. So, we went up there to deliver some online refresher training on-board one of our luxury VIP vehicles which is the perfect mobile classroom! 
Refresher iLearn courses at Millwall Coach Park on-board Kings Ferry VIP Coach


After a day with the drivers, we turned our focus to the office staff. The dress code for the day was ‘Red’ to symbolise Road Safety Week by Brake.
The Kings Ferry & Clarkes of London office staff wearing red for Brake Charity on Road Safety Week
And in true Kings Ferry Group style we held a ‘Bake for Brake’, where bakers were pitted against each other in a bid to win a rather fetching apron. The winner of the ‘Bake for Brake’ for The Kings Ferry was our Group Driver Training Manager, Simon, who also helped set up the initiative (possible results fixing we think?!) But congratulations nonetheless! 
Bake for Brake charity for Road Safety Week 2019, chocolate cakes, victoria sponge cake, cookies, sausage rolls
Chris Burley with Simon Le Mar winner of Bake for Brake charity competition with winners apron
Under the supervision of the Driver Training Team, the office staff were also invited to get behind the wheel of one of our coaches to complete a couple of laps around the yard. With 0 accidents and some pretty impressive skills on show, we might have some new coach drivers coming through the Driver Training Academy soon!


This was the day all the drivers looked forward to, the unmissable Driver Skills Challenge. Over the past couple of weeks drivers from far and wide (across the Group) had been nominating a driver to represent their depot and take on the ultimate challenge! We had drivers from The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Stewarts Coaches and Woods Coaches battle to win the coveted Driver Skills Trophy and be named our Champion!
Driver Skills Challenge for Road Safety Week 2019, nominated drivers from The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Stewarts Coaches and Woods Coaches
The drivers took on a series of challenges; theory and hazard perception, reversing and manoeuvring, emergency evacuation and safety announcements! Each challenge was overseen by the Driver Training Team and judged under the watchful eye of Simon and a number of Group Directors. 
Driver Skills Challenge - Theory & Hazard Perception Test
Driver Skills Challenge - Reversing & Manoeuvring
Driver Skills Challenge - Safety Announcement
Driver Skills Challenge - Evacuation
After calculating the results from each challenge, and re-calculating, we had a winner. A huge congratulations to Richard who was representing Leicester based Woods Coaches on being crowned our Driver Skills Champion! Managing Director, Ian Fraser and the new Kings Ferry Group recruit, Simon the Safety Bear were on hand to present the prestigious award and congratulate all our incredible drivers! 
The Kings Ferry Group Managing Director Ian Fraser presenting Richard with the Driver Skills Challenge trophy
Driver Skills Challenge Winners for Road Safety Week 2019 for Brake charity


Before our drivers got to their coaches in the early hours of the morning, we hid some surprises on-board. As part of their early morning checks, our drivers had to find TWO delicious bags of sweets. After being fuelled by sugar our drivers took off for their morning duties.  
Early Morning Checks Challenge to Win Sweets, Part of Road Safety Week 2019
We made our way up to Millwall coach park to deliver some more online training courses which have been a huge success. Our drivers have been taking time out of their break to learn about how we can help make our roads safer for everyone. 
iLearn refresher training at Millwall coach park


Road Safety Week isn’t just about keeping our drivers and office staff safe, it’s about helping to keep our community safe too. With the help of our mascot Simon the Safety Bear, we visited Cedar Academy in Strood to deliver our Travel Smart Sessions to KS1 and KS2 pupils. The children were invited on-board our luxury VIP mobile classroom where they took part in activities aimed to give them the tools and knowledge to stay safe near roads and when on their school trips. 
Road Safety Week 2019 launch of Travel Smart Sessions at Cedar Children's Academy with Simon, Group Driver Training Manager and Simon The Safety Bear
We would like to say thank you to all the companies across our Group for taking part in this initiative and helping raise awareness for such as fantastic cause, Road Safety Week by Brake. Together we have raised £100 which we are incredibly proud of!

The Anti-Bullying Tour With Diana Award Ambassador James Okulaja

The Kings Ferry Group have teamed up with Anti-Bullying Ambassador James Okulaja (AKA Oktave) to embark upon an Anti-Bullying tour around local schools delivering important sessions on anti-bullying and being safe on social media.

Students from Hempstead Junior School, St Margarets Junior School, Rainham Mark Grammar School, Thames View Primary School and Twydall Primary School were be invited on-board Kings Ferry VIP coach, where James delivered presentations in support of Anti-Bullying Week 2019. The sessions have been created to help build skills and confidence in young people, encouraging them to stand up to bullying in their own schools and giving them the knowledge they need to be safe on social media.


James Okulaja is an anti-bullying ambassador for The Diana Award. He is one of 25,000 ambassadors in the UK and Ireland helping to tackle hate crime by raising awareness and delivering campaigns on anti-bullying. As an ambassador for The Diana Award, he is trained by the Diana Anti-Bullying Campaign to help educate his peers on bullying, lead campaigns, promote a culture which celebrates our differences and helps keep young people safe both online and offline.
James Okulaja on-board The Kings Ferry VIP Coach with school children teaching them about staying safe on social media and anti-bullying.
When James isn’t campaigning in schools, he writes music based on his own experiences hate crime under the alias Oktave. These songs portray strong messages about positivity and standing up to bullies. Oktave’s recent song ‘Team’ has been viewed over 30,000 times on YouTube, almost as many views as his previous song ‘Oso Saucy’ which has been viewed 34,000 times. 

The Diana Award

The Diana Award is a charity set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world. 
The charity has three main campaigns that focus on young people and change. The Mentoring scheme offers a series of group sessions to help young people gain an insight into employment and career skills training. The charity’s flagship Award programme recognises the young people driving a positive change in the world, including James Okulaja. While the Anti-Bullying campaign focuses on a positive change in the attitudes and behaviour of young people. 
The Anti-Bullying campaign is supported by HRH The Duke of Cambridge and works to change the attitude surrounding bullying by delivering sessions to schools from Ambassadors like James.  

Anti-Bullying Week

Anti-Bullying Week takes place from Monday 11th November to Friday 15th November 2019 and is an event which encourages schools in England to come together to help stop bullying. This year’s theme is ‘Change Starts With Us’, with the aim that a small change can make a big difference. 

Our Support

The Kings Ferry Group are a firm supporter of James Okulaja’s work against hate crime and bullying. For the anti-bullying tour they have dedicated one of their special VIP coaches to the cause to help James deliver his presentation on. 
This isn’t the first time The Kings Ferry Group have supported James with his work, back in September they provided a VIP coach to transport James and his team around filming locations for his music video ‘Team’. A large portion of the video ended up being filmed on-board the coach. 
Both James and The Kings Ferry Group will be looking to team up throughout the year to delivers these sessions around the local community on key hot topics. If you would like us to deliver one of these sessions to your school and are in the local area, get in touch with us today to arrange a date

We're Eco-Friendly Inside & Out!

World Kindness Day Eco-Friendly Transport

World Kindness Day is upon us and we are showing our love for the planet by reducing our impact on the environment even more!

Our coaches are already a greener way to travel and Euro 6 compliant (Euro 6 is the latest set of standards introduced by the European Commission to reduce harmful pollutants from vehicle exhausts). But we can always find ways to be more eco-friendly; starting with our office.

Going Cupless 

We have over 50 people in our Gillingham head office all fuelled by tea and coffee. So much so that we easily go through a massive 20 litres of hot beverages per day!
After realising how many cups we go through on a daily basis and after learning that it takes a single waxed cup up to 30 years to decompose, we quickly decided that this needed to change. 
As of the 13th November 2019, we have made the decision to go cupless. There won’t be a waxed cup in sight, with all our employees being encouraged to bring in their own personal mugs (the perfect opportunity for them to dust of those Christmas mugs that have been hiding in the back of their cupboards!).

New Paper Waste Bins

While it is necessary for us to print certain documents, we have partnered with a local recycling company to provide us with a solution to effectively recycle our paper waste and monitor the waste we are generating. 
The installation of new paper waste bins around the office has helped us reduce our environmental impact. And so we don’t forget to take the recycling bins out, the recycling company comes to the office on a weekly basis to collect and recycle our paper waste. 
We are always thinking of new ways in which we can help save the planet and are continuously working to make our coaches even more eco-friendly. 

Future Innovation

Our parent company, National Express, are running trials on the first fully electric buses in Coventry, Birmingham and Solihull. Although electric cars have been around for a while, this technology is relatively new in the bus and coach industry. 
We’re confident that once the trials on the electric buses are successful, it will not be long until the technology reaches the coach industry. 
Find out how green coach travel really is by clicking on the button below. 

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