A FAMILY-RUN business has scooped a top industry award. 

Heathside Travel, a small family-run business in Ferndown, won Small Coach Operator of the Year 2023 at the Route One Awards in Birmingham, earlier this month. 

Held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, the awards, in its 17th year, welcomed 770 guests to recognise the achievements of operators and individuals working within the coach and bus industry. 

Tim Southby, operator at Heathside Travel, said he was “very proud” to have won the award. 

“This is the highest accolade that we can achieve in our industry and we are the winners,” he said. 

“We are officially the best small coach operator in the UK.” 

A judging panel of industry experts whittled 70 finalists down to the 16 stand-out individuals and businesses that achieved the 2023 accolades and commendations.  

Judges included former traffic commissioner for Scotland Joan Aitken and David Cattermole, former Galloway Travel managing director. 

The awards also saw the parent company of Poole-based Morebus (Go South Coast) scoop Large Bus Operator of the Year. 

The award was also a nod to Morebus’ efforts to reduce congestion and improve air quality across the BCP area.