Driving skills award for Northumberland coach driver

Howard Snaith Jnr with the Arthur J Gallagher Trophy.
Howard Snaith Jnr with the Arthur J Gallagher Trophy.

The 22-year-old transport manager of a Northumberland coach firm won a top award at the UK Coach Rally.

Howard Snaith Jnr, of Otterburn-based Howard Snaith Coaches, was the highest-placed driver under 25 in the finals at the event in Blackpool last month and was presented with the Arthur J Gallagher Trophy by Senior Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell.

Day one saw 40 coach drivers test their manoeuvring and driving skills and the top 12 were selected to take part in the finals on day two. Throughout the competition, Howard took part in a 12.8-metre Plaxton Panther coach belonging to the family business which was established in 1970.

The event first started in 1955 and is a showcase for coach companies to display their vehicles. The highly-demanding driving competition is a reminder of the professional skills involved in manoeuvring today’s huge vehicles in tight spaces, driving them safely and getting passengers to their destination in a calm, friendly and relaxing manner.

Howard passed his bus and coach test in January 2012 and has since driven for the company extensively throughout the UK and mainland Europe.