26th October 2015
As we do every year our buses and coaches will be wearing a poppy in support of the great work that Poppy Scotland? carry out.
In addition to our usual donation any extra monies from the cash vaults on our service buses over the next 3 weeks will also be donated.
For many years we have put stickers on our coaches to show our support but after a suggestion from one of our drivers a few years ago we now make larger poppy's in house and fit these to all our fleet, with permission from Poppy Scotland.
8th October 2015
Identical Twins !!
Our second new Eco-Friendly bus entered service this afternoon on the 111 Connecting East Lothian to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary service. These two buses are the first of a new shorter 33 seat 'Low Carbon' model and were built to our specification by Alexander Dennis at their factory in Falkirk.
They produce 30% less greenhouse gases than a standard bus which as well as being washed with harvested rainwater means these are the most environmentally friendly buses in East Lothian. They are also fitted with FREE WiFi and usb charging points.
Passenger numbers continue to increase on the 111-122 services, way beyond or initial expectations, and we thank all those customers who are helping to make this route a great success.
1st October 2015
We had a great night at the routeONE magazine Operator Excellence Awards on the evening of 30th September. We didn't win our category of 'Small Fleet - Bus Operator of the Year' but had a great time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Congratulations to worthy category winners Central Buses from Birmingham.
We were privalidged to have Mel Holley, the magazine's editor, at our table as well as some of our key suppliers. Steph McGovern from BBC Breakfast did an excellent job as host with impressionist Jon Culshaw providing the after dinner entertainment.
It was unfortunate that some finalists couldn't be bothered to attend the awards, but we were delighted to support the event once again and to be finalists in one of the bus operator category's only 3 years after starting to run buses again.
7th September 2015
From Monday 7th September the 111 also connects with the new Borders Railway
The new Shawfair Station is directly behind Newton Village and is only a short walk from the bus stops which we already use to serve the village. We've changed our online timetable and Zone Map to reflect this new interchange option and will update paper copies at the next print run.
12th August 2015
East Lothian Council have issued this extremely positive press release about the improvements to the 111 bus service and changes to the 110 and 122 routes.
There are some great comments from Councillor Michael Veitch describing the increase in passenger numbers on the 111 as 'incredible' and congratulating us on being a finalist in the 'Small Fleet - Bus Operator of the Year' category at this years Route One Operator Excellence Awards.
The press release can be viewed here - East Lothian Council Press Release
4th May 2015
Today marks the start of the new 111 - 122 services connecting East Lothian with Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Full details of the new services can be found here
2nd May 2015
Today is the last day we will be running the 121 Haddington North Berwick and 123 Gifford Circle routes due to contract changes by East Lothian Council
We would like to thank all our passengers for their support over the years we have ran these services. The 110 route is unchanged.
4th March 2015
Changes to our Bus Service routes
It is with extreme disappointment that we have to announce that we will cease to operate the 121 Haddington to North Berwick and 123 Gifford Circle routes on Saturday 2nd May 2015.
This follows the recent supported bus service tender by East Lothian Council who have awarded the routes to another operator. Having won these routes at short notice in the spring of 2012 following the withdrawal of First Group we are proud to have restored passenger confidence in both routes and we have consequently seen passenger numbers and satisfaction rise as a result.
We were delighted when passenger numbers returned to the levels we had experienced prior to First Group taking over the 123 in 2011 within a few weeks. It took longer for the 121 to increase passengers but numbers are now 32% higher than when we took the route over in July 2012. We had hoped that these factors, which meant we were able to reduce our tender price, would have helped us retain these contracts.
East Lothian Council have asked us to inform passengers that the existing timetables will be unchanged on both routes when the new operator takes over on Monday 4th May.
The 110 New Winton to Port Seton route is unaffected and we will continue to operate that route as normal. We are however pleased to have been awarded two new routes which will provide access to The Royal Infirmary from all over East Lothian for workers, patients and visitors. We will publish the timetables for these new routes once they have been approved by the Scottish Traffic Commissioner.
We would like to thank all passengers for the continued support they have shown us over the years.
12th February 2015
We're ECOSTARS !!
Following an exhaustive survey of our vehicles, fuel usage and other environmental practices we're delighted to announce that we have just joined the Edinburgh ECOSTARS accreditation scheme having been awarded a 4 Star rating, out of a possible 5.
For much more information please visit the Edinburgh Ecostars website.
Yesterday we were immensely proud to be one of five finalists in the 'Top Independent Operator' category at this years UK BUS AWARDS.
It was also our 'Director of Ideas' 10th birthday so he joined us at the event which was held at the Hilton on Park Lane in London. The organisers surprised us by all by presenting him with a specially made birthday cake, and sang 'Happy Birthday' to him.
We didn't win but we all had a fantastic day and being a finalist, the only Scottish company in any of the 3 operator of the year awards, only two and a half years after starting to run bus services again was more than we believed possible. One of the judges described this as 'a huge achievement' for a small family company.
We had a fantastic time at the routeONE magazine Operator Excellence Awards last night. We were finalists in two categories but unfortunately we didn't win either. That didn't stop us having a great night with all our friends in the industry.
Our record in these awards over the last 4 years is -
2011 - Finalist: Medium sized Coach Operator of the Year
2012 - WINNER: MEDIUM SIZED COACH OPERATOR OF THE YEAR
2013 - WINNER: SMALL FLEET COACH OPERATOR OF THE YEAR
2014 - Finalist: Innovation of the Year
2014 - Finalist: Small Fleet Coach Operator of the Year
Overall not bad for a small company from East Lothian.
31st October 2014
We were extremely flattered to be informed yesterday that our local MSP, Iain Gray, had raised a motion in the Scottish Parliament congratulating us on being finalists in the 'Top Independent Operator' category at this years UK Bus Awards.
10th October 2014
We are one of 5 companies shortlisted for the 'Top Independant Operator' and the only Scottish company in any of the 3 coveted 'Bus Operator of the Year' categories.
We will find out on 18th November at the Awards ceremony, which is held at the Hilton on Park Lane, if we have won. Nominations for these awards come from the general public so we would like to thank those people who took the time to nominate us.
The reasons the judges gave for making us a finalist:- Originally and primarily a coach company that has expanded its bus operation considerably in recent years, the family-owned Prentice Coaches operates in East Lothian. Offering high quality operation, an innovative approach to tendered services and Prentice is eager to try new commercial service initiatives and prides itself on making a profit in each year it has traded since 1991. The judges were particularly impressed by the company's customer service ethos, its use of social media and its app, marketed as 'App-Prentice'. The app allows interaction via smartphones and tablets with Prentice's real time information system which the judges noted is provided without cost to the local councils, unusual for a small independent company.
12th September 2014
We're thrilled to announce that yesterday evening we were runner's up in the 'Business of the Year - less than 25 employees' category at the inaugural Scottish Chamber of Commerce Awards which was held at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh
The event was hosted by Kaye Adams and Fred MacAulay (pictured) provided the after dinner entertainment and as expected was extremely funny, and a true gentleman as well.
18th August 2014
We're delighted to announce that we're finalists in the inaugural Scottish Chambers of Commerce 'Scottish Business Honours' in the 'Business of the Year - under 25 employees' category.
The winners will be announced at the awards dinner on September 11th at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh.
10th July 2014
We found out a few weeks ago that we had been selected as finalists in 'Small fleet - Coach Operator of the Year' the category we won last year at the same awards. This followed our first success in 2012 when we won ' Medium sized Coach Operator of the Year'
We only found out yesterday, when the shortlists were announced, that 'App-Prentice' has been selected as one of 6 possible winners of 'Innovation of the Year' after the judges were "impressed by a operator of your size declaring such an initiative"
We now have a few days to finish our final submission and then we will have to wait until the Gala Dinner on November 5th 2014 in Birmingham to find our if we have won.
We could not achieve this level of success without the hard work and commitment that everyone work works with us puts in every day and is further testament to the quality of service we provide our customers.
20th June 2014
This week we helped create a little bit of history!
On Monday 16th June Schoolchildren using our 121 bus service to North Berwick High School became the first in Scotland to use their Young Scot cards as an electronic smart bus pass.
Working together with East Lothian Council and Transport Scotland we are trialling a new system which if successful will be rolled out across the county and eventually the whole country. As well as saving considerable amounts of public money the new smart card system will make it easier for the children.
The new cards were also activated today for the schoolchildren from Elphinstone who use our 110 service to travel to Ross High School so they too are taking part in the trial.
15th May 2014
Our latest new coach, our second new Plaxton Leopard, was delivered a few days after our new Enviro 200 and after having it's livery fitted took to the road today.
We took delivery of the first road going Plaxton Leopard last October and were so pleased we almost immediately ordered another one. This coach is exactly the same as our first one having 59 reclining seats within the air conditioned saloon amongst lots of other luxury features. We are the first operator to place a repeat order for the Leopard which is fitted to Volvo chassis.
1st May 2014
Our latest new vehicle, an Alexander Dennis Enviro 200.
YX14 arrived just after lunch time on Monday, took part in a photo shoot to launch the 'East Lothian Bus Passenger Charter' 24 hours later and after it's electrical equipment was fitted this morning took to the road at 1pm on Wednesday 30th April.
It was bought as the result of winning the recent short notice tender to operate the 110 New Winton - Prestonpans supported service. To begin with it will be used on the 123 Gifford Circle as that is our highest mileage route.
29th April 2014
Launched on Tuesday 29th April we are one of five operators who have signed up for, and helped create the RELBUS - East Lothian Bus Passenger Charter
To view the charter click here or visit the RELBUS Website
9th April 2014
THe return of the 110
We are delighted to announce that following a short notice tender by East Lothian Council we have been awarded the contract to operate the new 110 service
The service replaces the previous 328 route that Edinburgh Coachlines ran. We will start to operate the new route on Monday 21st April, subject to approval by the Scottish Traffic Commissioner.
The timetable is temporary and will be reviewed in 3 months by ourselves and East Lothian Council who have awarded us the route and may be expanded or curtailed depending on passenger usage.
For timetable and map details click here or visit our service bus timetable page.
10th November 2013
We were visited a few weeks ago by Tim Deakin from Route ONE magazine to conduct a road test on our new Volvo Plaxton Leopard as it is the first of it's kind on the road
Click on the image to read the full article
31st October 2013
We're going to need a bigger trophy cabinet!!
It's with great pride that we can announce that last night at the annual MEL Chamber of Commerce awards we were presented with the 'Best Family Business' award.
15th October 2013
Our latest new coach, the first of the new Plaxton Leopard's to take to the road!!
We were sworn to secrecy for many months after ordering this brand new model of coach, which has a Volvo B9R chassis. Plaxton asked us not to reveal anything about it until they launched it at Coach & Bus Live 2 weeks ago. Ours was the second one built, but is the first one registered and on the road.
It is not the first time we have bought a brand new model. We did so in 2001 buying the first production Dennis / Plaxton R-Series coach and again in 2007 when we bought the first 33 seat version of the new Cheetah 2 body.
We bought our first new Plaxton just over 15 years ago, it was a Dennis Javelin with a Premiere 320 body, and since then have bought another 16 new and several second hand models of various different bodies.
As well as giving our passengers the very latest coaches we are proud to support British industry, in our own small way. It is a matter of great pride that our entire coach fleet, with the exception of our Mercedes Vario 24 seaters, are bodied by Plaxton. We have lost so many skills in this country over the years and it would be a tragedy if we lost our ability to produce our own coach bodies.
5th October 2013
It is with immense pride that we can announce that on the evening of 2nd October we won 'Small Fleet - Coach Operator of the Year' at the RouteONE magazine Operator Excellence Awards 2013 which were held at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham and attended by 720 guests.
This is the second year in a row we have won one of the operator awards, which is unprecedented, after winning the 'Medium Fleet' category at last years awards.The award was presented to us by former BBC newsreader Angela Rippon, Route One editor Mike Morgan and award sponsors Volant Commercials Mark Baker.
These are the judges comments as to why we won - Standing still is not considered an option by our winner. It has innovated and invested with the best of them, adding live tracking enhanced by a mobile phone App, while adding a colourful QR code to its vehicles. It has seen truly impressive organic growth as a consequence. However, what singles out this operator is the way in which the personal pride expressed by its owner is translated into excellence in all aspects of the business.
To make the night even more special our friends at Perryman's Buses won the 'Small Bus Operator' category.
Click below to see how we found out we had won -
26th September 2013
Our latest You tube clip - Refreshing the brand
A short time lapse film showing how we changed the logo's on one of our Enviro 200's to our new design which were designed and made in house.
26th June 2013
Community is Key!!
We were delighted when Andrew Cream, the Deputy Editor, from Coach and Bus Week asked if he could visit us a few weeks ago. Andrew really seemed to grasp who we are and what we do and this week we are featured in the magazine in the 'Operator Profile' section
9th April 2013
To further enhance the information we provide our customers we are delighted to announce the launch of our new 'Mobile Website' and 'App'
When you access our website from a mobile device you will be asked if you want to view the mobile version of our site, or download our App if you have a suitable device.You can also view the site by clicking here
The Android version of the App is available in the Google Play Store and we hope to have a version for iPhone ready shortly.
25th February 2013
We know where our buses and coaches are so why shouldn't you?
To further enhance the service we provide our passengers today we are launching our 'Live Tracking' system. We now have the ability to provide our customers with a link to a dedicated page, password protected if need be, at no extra charge whatsoever.
We are also providing live tracking information for our bus services so that passengers can see in real time where the buses are.
For more information click here
2nd February 2013
We're delighted to be featured in an article on social media this weeks Route ONE magazine.We were interviewed by Jessamy Hudson about our use of twitter and facebook
Click on the image to read the full article
18th November 2012
We've uploaded our latest clip to You Tube. It was filmed at the Route One Operator Excellence Awards on 7th November.
It's called 'And the winner is...' and shows how we found out we had won 'Medium sized Coach Operator of the Year' at this years awards. Click below to view -
9th November 2012
We are extremely proud to announce that on the evening of 7th November we won the "Medium Sized Coach Operator of the Year" catagory in this years routeONE sponsored Operator Excellence Awards which were held at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham and attended by 780 guests
This award followed a nomination from within our industry in the spring, submission of initial information in May and then the submission of extensive information in August after we had been made one of five companies shortlisted for the award. The judges took account of our vehicle buying programme, maintenance facilities and record's, training, reliability, punctuality and financial performance. They also wanted to know what we did 'Above and beyond the norm'
The award was presented to us by Mike Morgan, Editor of the magazine, Andrew Sanderson from Squire Sanders and Maggie Philbin, former Tomorrows World presenter.The after dinner entertainment was the fantastic Rory Bremner!!
20th September 2012
We're delighted to be featured in this weeks Route ONE magazine. We were visited a few weeks ago by Andy Izatt, features editor, who wrote this great article about our 21 years in business and our current fleet and operations.
Click on the image to read the full article
2nd July 2012
Today is our 1st day operating the new 121 Haddington - North Berwick & 123 Gifford Circle service routes. We have purchased two brand new ADL Enviro 200 service buses for exclusive use on these routes
The buses are pictured at the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune next to the AVRO Vulcan Bomber.
25th June 2012
To celebrate our 21st Birthday and the launch of our two new Enviro 200 service buses we will be having an Open Day this Saturday 30th June between 1pm & 4pm at our premises in Hospital Road, Haddington.
Come along and see these two state of the art environmentally friendly buses, as well as a selection of our coaches,have a look at our facilities and have a slice of birthday cake.
There will be a treasure hunt for the kids with an exclusive model bus as a prize and a raffle with prizes donated by The Museum of Flight, Scottish Seabird Centre, Merryhatton Garden centre and a model of the new 121 bus with it's stunning livery
1st June 2012
Today is our 21st Birthday! We started with one coach back in 1991 and now run sixteen vehicles varying in size from 24 seats up to our largest coaches which seat 70 passengers
To celebrate this milestone we've put together a slideshow of some significant moments from the last 21 years. Click below to view -
8th May 2012
We're delighted to be able to announce that East Lothian Council have awarded us the contracts to run 121 Haddington - North Berwick and 123 Gifford Circle routes from 2nd July. Once finalised timetables will be available on the Local Services page.
27th April 2012
This amusing spoof clip was made for us by Ben, Imogen, Rebecca & Daryll, who are Film & Media students at Queen Margaret University. The plot is that 'No4' has been sent by his boss, a rival coach operator, to spy on us and find out why we are so good!!
Check it out and let us know what you think!
15th September 2011
On Saturday 10th September we held a 20th anniversary party at the Maitlandfield House Hotel in Haddington which was attended by around 120 customers, suppliers, employees, frinds and family.
It was fantastic to be able to celebrate with so many friends, we would not be in the position we are today had it not been for the support and loyalty of our customers and the local community.
Shown above is the fantastic cake we had specially made replicating our latest 51 seat coach. It was cut on the night by 3 generations of our family team.
1st June 2011
It was 20 years ago today.... Happy Birthday to us!
On the 1st June 1991 we carried our first passengers on a trip to Blackpool with our only coach, 20 years later we now run 17 and today launched our first email Newsletter if you haven't signed up to receive it yet click here to view it.
We have just had a new Inspection Pit installed by Everquip Garage Equipment to further improve both our workshop facilities and to improve our ability to maintain our vehicles to the very highest standards
The inspection pit came in two steel sections which were installed on concrete foundation pads so that it could be installed level with the existing floor. Once in place the entrance tunnel was welded to the main pit and once the pre-installed electrics and air systems were connected up the pit was then surrounded by concrete. This was done in 4 pours. In total there was 35 cubic metres of concrete poured around the pit to ensure maximum strength of the new pit and exisiting floor. Once fully cured the whole floor will be painted to ensure that it can be kept clean easily