Lucketts Travel Group is maintaining pole position when it comes to investment in driver training. The Hampshire firm is one of only two coach companies in the UK with its own award-winning driver training academy, but now the firm has gone one step further and will be introducing advanced training across the group – and not just to its coach drivers.
Training manager Ian Hills, who set up the academy, explained: “Our training has always been well above the Driving Standards Agency test standard, and about five years ago we introduced the Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving course into our academy.
“We are now introducing Smith System training, which teaches drivers about how to drive safely, efficiently, how to reduce emissions and how to give a smoother journey for our customers. “It is an advanced driver training course but, crucially, it teaches the drivers to understand why it is important to drive this way and how to respond to changing conditions as increasing numbers of cars and other vehicles take to the road.”
Ian gave the first training to Lucketts Travel Group drivers on October 27, and plans to roll out the training to the company’s directors, sales staff and engineers – anyone who needs to understand how the coach is driven.
He added: “The aim is that, with the Smith System training you would be able to put two coaches side by side and see immediately which one is being driven by an advanced driver – it will be that obvious to our customers.“By investing in this training our emissions will be reduced, wear and tear will be kept to a minimum, and our customers should have the most comfortable journey possible.”
Lucketts Travel Group is unique in that it takes people without a coach licence and trains them to be qualified drivers. Lucketts’new drivers will be trained in the advanced course, but not until three to six months after completing their initial training.
Lucketts’ trainers Phil Berry, Steve Uren, and Worthing-based Grahame Mather will also be responsible for ensuring all relevant staff receive the Smith System training. Ian Luckett, joint managing director of Lucketts Travel Group, said: “Training is something we take very seriously at Lucketts Travel Group, and we are proud to be leading the way again with the introduction of the Smith System. “Not only does it benefit us as a group, but it also allows us to improve the quality of service we give to our customers whether they’re travelling with us on shorter journeys or on one of our holidays to Europe.”
Lucketts Travel is a private-hire coach firm which part of Lucketts Group, headquartered in Broadcut, Fareham. The group also incorporates Worthing Coaches and Coliseum Coaches, as well as a holiday business. The firm began as a haulier in 1926, but has evolved to become one of the most well-known transport firms in the south of England, with around 300 staff working for the group.
For more information on Smith System, see http://www.smith-system.com/