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September 2, 2019

Back-To-School Road Safety – What Drivers Need To Know

The beginning of September usually means one thing: school starts and thousands of students are on their way to their classrooms again.

Back to school also means drivers need to pay extra attention to what is happening on the road. Here is our guide to what to look out for in the coming weeks.

Back-to-school road safety:

  1. School safety zones
    Developed to provide a safe traffic environment for children entering and leaving the school, these zones usually have a low speed limit anyway. This should not stop you from taking extra care in these zones and be ready to react fast. Kids can move quickly and are not as mindful about the traffic as adults.
  2. Crossing guards – the lollipop men and women
    These wonderful people help children safely cross the street. They are hard to overlook in their high-visibility clothing. If you see a guard starting to cross, slow down and come to a stop until the guard and kids have reached the pavement.
  3. School buses
    School buses are part of the busy traffic also. If you see one, keep a safe distance and be prepared to stop more often. Make sure you can see its mirrors, so the bus driver can see you! Don’t overtake a bus that has stopped to let kids enter or exit. Children can unexpectedly come running onto the road. Also, watch out for kids that trail behind.
  4. The school run
    If you are regularly driving past a school, your journey will very likely be disrupted and prolonged by parents dropping off their kids. Traffic can move more slowly than previously. You should be prepared to come to a halt more often. If you can, try to avoid the busiest times between 8-9am and 3-4pm. 
  5. Young cyclists
    Take extra care when you see young cyclists on their way to school. Often they are not as experienced as adult cyclists. They can turn without proper signalling. Young cyclists are generally still learning to determine the road traffic conditions. Keep your distance. When overtaking, allow extra safety space and indicate early.
  6. Plan more time
    Be prepared that your journey might take a few minutes longer than it used to in the past weeks during the 6-week summer holiday break. Avoid rushing and speeding and follow the rules of the road.

August 19, 2019

2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism

10 cities competing for the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism title 

Ten European cities have been shortlisted for the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition (presented in alphabetical order): Bratislava (Slovakia), Breda (The Netherlands), Bremerhaven (Germany), Gothenburg (Sweden), Karlsruhe (Germany), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Málaga (Spain), Nice (France), Ravenna (Italy) and Torino (Italy). The finalist cities were selected from a total of 35 applications from across 17 EU Member States.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism was proposed as a preparatory action by the European Parliament and is implemented by the European Commission.  It aims to promote smart tourism in the EU, foster innovative, sustainable and inclusive tourism development, as well as spread and facilitate the exchange of best practices. This EU initiative recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in four categories: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation as well as Cultural heritage and creativity.

Last year, Helsinki and Lyon won the inaugural competition and the two cities jointly hold the titles of European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2019.

This is the second edition of the competition to award two cities as the European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2020. The two winning cities will benefit from communication and branding support for a year. This will include; a promotional video, a purpose-built sculpture for their city centres, as well as bespoke promotional actions.

Moreover, four awards will also be handed out in recognition of achievements in the individual categories of the competition (Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation and Cultural heritage and creativity).

All winning cities will be announced and awarded at an Awards Ceremony, which is taking place as part of the European Tourism Forum in Helsinki on 9-10 October 2019.


In the first stage of the competition, an independent panel of experts evaluated the applications. All finalist cities demonstrated excellence across the four competition categories combined.

In the second stage, representatives of the 10 finalist cities will travel to Helsinki to present their candidatures and the programme of activities planned for 2020 in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will meet on 8 October 2019 and select two cities to become European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2020.

The selection of the most innovative projects, ideas and initiatives, submitted by cities to the last year’s competition can be found in the Compendium of Best Practices, the go-to guide to smart tourism in the EU.

August 6, 2019

Top 10 ways parents survive long car journeys with children


A new survey reveals the top ten ways parents cope with long car journeys with their children, with electronic gadgets now an essential item of survival kit for most families.

The survey carried out by Opinium, and commissioned by , a leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, asked parents with school-age kids for their top tips on  surviving long (over two hour) car journeys.

Nearly two fifths (38%) admit that electronic gadgets make long journeys more enjoyable, and nearly a third (29%) say they could not survive without them. 84% also set no time limits for how long the kids use them. 

However, traditional car activities remain popular with music playing from the car system (42%) and classic car games, such as iSpy (40%), still coming out top.  Parents who wish to interact with their children may be in the minority but over one in ten (13%) actually ban electronic devices on long journeys, because 10% of them say these journeys are a good opportunity to talk.

  1.  “You really do know all the words….” (parents said with a heavy heart): Playing music in the car is the most popular entertainment (42%), with nearly a quarter (24%) downloading a playlist for the family and 23% creating individual child playlists.
  2. “I spy with my little eye….”: Two fifths (40%) say they play classic car games, like iSpy and 20 Questions.
  3. “I can’t hear you”: A third (36%) provide headphones for kids’ electronic devices so they don’t have to listen to the game, YouTube video or film their kids may be watching.
  4. “It’s my turn”: Nearly a third (32%) give each child their own device so they don’t have to share.
  5. “Can we listen to it again, and again, and again?”: Nearly a third (31%) listen to their child/ren’s favourite song or CD on repeat.
  6. “Just one more…”: A third (30%) of parents admit to bribing their children to be well behaved with treats and sweets.
  7. “Yes, you can have the kids’ meal”: Nearly a third (30%) promise a visit to a fast food outlet.
  8. “It has to be a U or PG”: More than a quarter (28%) let their children watch movies on long car journeys, while 18% listen to audio book, and 11% to podcasts. 
  9.  “Super Mario, Pokemon or Minecraft?”: A quarter (27%) let their children play computer games on long car journeys.
  10. “Get the beer and wine on ice!”: 13% of parents survive a long car journey by visualising their first pint or glass of wine on arrival. 

“I’ve done many long car journeys with my children, and it can be difficult to keep them all entertained, especially when they’re all different ages and have different interests. I’m glad it isn’t just me who hands over the tablets to have a bit of peace.” said Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of

Ernesto continues, “One thing you don’t want to be worrying about when hiring a car with kids, is the amount you’re going to have to pay if it’s damaged or stolen, which can be up to £2,000 even if it’s not your fault. Make sure you buy excess insurance from a standalone provider like before you drive your hire car, to not only save you money, but to give you total peace of mind, once the kids have their gadgets and headphones on that is.”

August 5, 2019

Save cash at the pump

Belle Vue Manchester has brought you stories from PetrolPrices in the past that have been a huge benefit to motorists. This app is set to be the best to put cash back into your purses and wallets. So, if you want to save anything from 3p per litre and more, you could find you have saved yourself £100 per year or more, at no cost!

Please help friends and family save by sharing this web page on social media and email!

Following a crowd sourcing project to generate the funding, PetrolPrices is launching a free app that shows you how much the fuel prices are at each and every pump. So, you enter your location, you get back the local fuel stations near you and the prices they charge for unlabelled fuel such as diesel and unleaded, to branded fuels if you prefer to continue using the same brand.

For those of you who are unaware, PetrolPrices has undergone a massive change to improve stability within its business and make sure its amazing service stays alive for everyone.

Part of those changes include redesigning and focusing more of our effort on the mobile app, as discussed in this article.

Try out our brand new app using the download buttons for your Android or iOS device below.

Unfortunately, the app is currently unavailable for Blackberry & Windows Phone. However, the website will still be available for all members.

July 4, 2019

Top 10 Restaurants in Spain for Vegetarians and Vegans

Spain has been developing its plant-based food scene for over 30 years, and is home to a wide-variety of vibrant vegetarian and vegan restaurants for food-loving travellers

With up to 10% of All Europeans Now Following a Plant-Based Diet, These Are Top 10 Restaurants in Spain for Vegetarians and Vegans In recent years, there has been an increase in Europeans switching to a plant-based diet due to higher awareness around the negative effects of animal agriculture, as well more available information regarding the health benefits of not eating meat.

Due to this shift in attitudes, it is estimated that around 10% of all Europeans now follow a plant-based diet. Furthermore, the continent leads the way in terms of global meat substitutes, and holds 39% of the global market.

Spain, a country often praised for its vibrant food scene, is one of Europe’s most foodie-friendly destinations, and has been seeking to bring plant-diets into the mainstream for over 30 years thanks to its diverse regional cuisines and abundance of natural produce.

Starting from Vigo and Barcelona, and finishing up in the capital, Madrid, Smart Lemur, a website dedicated to authentic travelling, has chosen the top 10 vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Spain.

1. Cat Bar – Barcelona

Despite its feline-themed moniker, Barcelona’s Cat Bar isn’t home to any cats. Instead, this small, five-tabled establishment focuses on creating top-level vegan burgers and serving local craft beers. Located on the fringes of Barcelona’s much-loved Gothic Quarter, this unpretentious, bustling bar is a must-visit for anyone who loves quality, plant-based food and adventurous beers. Depending on the day of the week, there are also live piano free-for-all performances.

2. Superchulo – Madrid

Superchulo‘ or ‘Supercool’ in English is one of Madrid’s top vegetarian restaurants, and has been singled out by Cosmopolitan, Vogue, TimeOut and ABC for its optimistic and daring menu. Its dishes are based on the principle of simplicity and urges diners to “count colors, not calories”. Superchulo aims to serve environmentally-sustainable dishes, which are designed with the health of visitors and the overall planet in mind. This hip joint is also pet-friendly.

3. Pizzi&Dixie – Madrid

Pizzi&Dixie is an Italian restaurant specializing in plant-based cuisine, and prides itself on dishes such as mango ceviche, yellow curry and black garlic tagliatelle, and its novel, activated charcoal pizza, which is considered a detoxing food. Honestly. Located in the centre of Madrid, Pizzi&Dixie is a colorful locale that adds an interesting twist to Europe’s rapidly developing vegetarian and vegan food scenes of the continent.

4. VA DE BO – Palma

Va De Bo is widely-recognized for its vegan dishes, as well as the kindness and hospitality of its owner, Joao. Live piano and guitar sessions, bright colors, and bringing people together over good food, good music, and conversation are the order of the day here.

5. Veganitessen – Sevilla

Located in Seville’s Arenal market, Veganitessen specialises in plant-based tapas and sweet treats. Praised for its high-standard of customer service, Veganitessen’s greatest hits include vegetarian kebabs, cold Andaluz-style beetroot soup, and a vegan take on the much-loved German currywurst. This small restaurant also serves craft beers, vegan-friendly soft drinks, and food to take away.

6. Les Maduixes – Valencia

Les Maduixes has been around for almost 35 years, and still prides itself on being one of Valencia’s first vegetarian restaurants. This bright locale prides itself on fresh dishes such as ravioli in calabaza sauce, and basmati rice with ceps and shiitake mushrooms. It also serves up a wide variety freshly-squeezed juices and smoothies, organic lager, and bio cola.

7. Vegetart – Barcelona

Vegetart‘s focus is on locally-inspired Catalan cuisine, and this takeaway joint serves up generously-sized regional dishes such as calçot cannelloni, leeks with almond, and a vegan take on the traditional Spanish tortilla with seitan chorizo or mushrooms. This small deli also won the award for the best vegan omelette by Anima Naturalis magazine.

8. Veggie Garden – Barcelona

Located by the Plaça Catalunya in the beating heart of Barcelona, this bright and cheerful vegan restaurant’s specialities are Hindu and Nepalese meals including Thali and Byriani. However, there are other options such as vegan wok, wraps with vegan cheese and guacamole, vegan burgers, and Chinese-inspired chili tofu. Veggie Garden also blends a number of delicious juices, smoothies, and milkshakes including one containing vegan chocolate.

9. Teresa’s – Barcelona

Created by Teresa Carles Borràs, a vegetarian chef and chef consultant of 35 years, this small, unassuming vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Barcelona’s motto is “eat better, be happier, live longer.” Since 1979, Teresa and her team has been influencing Spain’s vegetarian food scene by farming their own produce, using local ingredients, and developing recipes. Dishes include bowls, salads, burgers, tacos, and smash-hit toasts. Teresa’s is also home to a gluten-free and plant-based bakery.

10. Restaurante Cúrcuma – Vigo

Widely recognized for its Neo-rustic ambience and its outstanding banana cake, Restaurante Cúrcuma is a delight for those who follow a plant-based diet, as well as those who do not. A number of online reviews cite its stuffed aubergine and vegetarian lasagne as other highlights from the menu. Diners are also urged to ask the helpful waiting staff for recommendations if they are stuck for choice.

With plant-based diets becoming increasingly popular across Europe, expect even more restaurants to begin experimenting with alternative takes on traditional dishes using fruit and vegetables. If, however, you are not fully ready to commit fully to vegetarianism or veganism quite yet, check out Smart Lemur’s list of the top 10 street foods from around the world

October 14, 2018

Health and Fitness Travel Launches New Website

Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists has released their all-new global website. Substantial revamps have led to improved aesthetic design, better accessibility and an intuitive layout, providing optimal navigation and even more resources for customers looking for a wellness holiday.

With the UK and Australian websites becoming international and advanced filtering of holidays, the consumer experience has improved exponentially.

Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel says “We continually strive to evolve and provide the best service possible and expand our offerings to the diversifying needs of our clients. Having a global-friendly website allows us to spread our passion for travel and well-being, placing us one step closer to achieving our mission of improving the lives of 100,000 wellness travellers by 2028.”

To achieve their mission, the global team, with headquarters in London, Melbourne, Manila and Toronto, are working hand in hand with partners, sharing accumulated knowledge and expertise, journeying far and beyond to seek new experiences they know their clients will love.

To experience the new Health and Fitness Travel website for yourself visit

Explore Health and Fitness Travel’s latest holidays, featured on the new website:

Pine Cliffs, Portugal

Set atop the scenic Algarve cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Pine Cliffs is a secluded haven that provides a well curated luxury holiday. The resort is beautifully designed, adorned with murals and hand painted tiles that exhibit the richness of Portuguese culture. Be as relaxed and pampered as you wish with lavish spa treatments or active and on the go as you enjoy a broad range of fitness facilities and outdoor activities. For those wanting to enjoy the sun, sand and sea, venture a little further via panoramic lift and boarded walkway to the pristine Falésia Beach.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 6 nights at Pine Cliffs from £1,985pp or £2,905 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

The Retreat Costa Rica, Costa Rica

A private haven perched on the sloping hillside of a quartz mountain, The Retreat Costa Rica exudes intimacy and calm with just 11 rooms. This transformational retreat was founded by life coach, celebrity chef and best-selling author Diana Stobo to provide a place that epitomizes well-being and promote a natural approach to addressing health issues. Through its six core tenets of stress reduction, cultural involvement, gentle physical activity, spiritual connectedness, wellness recovery and organic eating, embark upon a journey that will lead you to a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 4 nights at The Retreat from £1,040pp or £1,295 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Svarga Loka, Bali

Set on the riverbanks of the spiritual Campuhan river in Ubud, Svarga Loka caters to the discerning needs of wellness travelers, providing a sacred place to reflect and rejuvenate. With various programs and visiting international experts, focus on any wellness goals, from mindfulness, weight management to detox and holistic healing. Experience luxury accommodation and a range of activities including yoga, meditation, workshops and spa therapies. Svarga Loka not only offers a tranquil sanctuary, but also provides guests with invaluable skills and knowledge to continue their transformation journey long after their stay.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 5 nights at Svarga Loka from £1,750pp or £2,190 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Quintessence Retreats, France

Journey to the enviable address of Courchevel, located at the heart of the French Alps in the world’s largest ski area, for a unique fitness journey with a touch of luxury. This retreat espouses an active lifestyle through a combination of sports, functional fitness, nutrition, and an atmosphere of an exceptionally beautiful environment. After every action-packed session, head to the social dining area to refuel with a healthy meal, prepared by in-house chefs. Bathe in the cool, crisp mountain air as you explore the serene surroundings and later end the day with a rebalancing yoga and meditation class.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 7 nights at Quintessence from £2,665pp or £2,580 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Baobab Suites, Tenerife

A fusion of luxury and minimalism, Baobab Suites boasts elegant apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows and efficient facilities perfect for your all wellness pursuits. This retreat follows a well-balanced approach to wellness with active fitness sessions and soothing wellness and aesthetic treatments for recovery and relaxation. Practice various forms of yoga, tone up with Pilates or boost your endurance with swimming and running with expert coaching. Throughout the day and evening, enjoy nutritious meal options to reinvigorate your body. For those who want to explore, this island escape is just a walk away from beautiful beaches and close to buzzing shopping centres.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 5 nights at Baobab Suites from £720pp or £1,205 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Macdonald Monchique Resort and Spa, Portugal

Nestled between lush pine forests and stunning mountains, Macdonald Monique exudes modern elegance harmonised with classic Portuguese flair. This health retreat puts your well-being at the front and centre with facilities and programs that help you find inner balance and self-awareness. For a unique pampering experience, unwind in the sensorial spa thermal circuit along with a range of treatments inspired by nature. Along with daily fitness activities, a range of healthy gastronomic experiences and luxurious accommodation appointed with unspoiled views of the sea and mountains, this hidden spa retreat checks all the boxes for a truly remarkable holiday.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 7 nights at Macdonald Monchique from £1,015pp or £1,245 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Wildfitness Menorca, Spain

Feel the freedom of nature as you escape to the Balearic island of Menorca for an exhilarating fitness and wellness retreat. Share a life changing fun-filled adventure with like-minded individuals amidst an untouched Mediterranean coastline and surrounded by beautiful fauna. This back to nature break will leave your body charged and mind de-stressed with a plethora of outdoor activities, from sunrise yoga and circuit training to restorative stretching and massages. Combining luxe-living, exercise, mindfulness and nutrition, Wildfitness Menorca promises an all-encompassing approach to health and fitness.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 6 nights at Wildfitness Menorca from £1,210pp or £1,725 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Borgo Egnazia, Italy

Set in a rural castle in beautiful Puglia, Italy, Borgo Egnazia finds itself quietly removed from the frantic buzz of city life. Experience wellness in the lap of luxury with private fitness sessions, lavish spa treatments and a healthy gastronomy for the senses. Following a holistic approach, indulge in an extensive list of natural body care therapies to soothe you into deep relaxation. The retreat boasts 184 rooms, which spread throughout their grounds, multiple restaurants to suit any taste buds and an array of health and wellness facilities to accommodate a wealth of complimentary activities.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 5 nights at Borgo Egnazia from £1,795pp or £2,335 for single occupancy. Pricing includes breakfast, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey

Six Senses Kaplankaya is a secluded wellness sanctuary set by the picturesque southern Aegean coast. Embrace a ‘live younger, longer’ attitude as you give your health a boost with a selection of indulgent spa treatments and fitness activities. Disengage from the stresses of daily life as you find your calm with sunrise yoga or a morning coastal walk, then sweat it out on a personal training session that will put you through your paces. Whatever your goals are, this Turkish getaway is guaranteed to help you take a step back and focus on your well-being.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 7 nights at Six Senses Kaplankaya from £2,485pp of £3,530 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

The BARAI Spa, Thailand

The award-winning BARAI Spa is the ideal destination for an all-encompassing healthy break to unwind and de-stress. Situated over acres of spectacular white sand beach, the BARAI is naturally centered on the element of water, bringing rejuvenation and healing by combining traditional Thai health rituals with contemporary western approaches. In this pocket of paradise, stay in a stunning BARAI spa suite with the luxury of your own private concierge. Whether you wish to practice yoga, kick-start your fitness or simply relax with holistic spa treatments, The BARAI has you covered.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 7 nights at The BARAI Spa from £2,335pp or £3,420 for single occupancy. Price is full board, with a bespoke programme and return private transfers.

REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort, Bali

REVĪVŌ is located atop the quiet hills of Nusa Dua in the south of Bali, made up of beautifully designed suites, villas and scenic grounds. It’s a holistic healing holiday with an emphasis on authentic ancient Balinese traditions. The spa boasts serene treatment rooms, contrast spa therapy plunge pools, steam rooms and a salt water floating pool. You can also focus your fitness with multi-functional facilities that include a yoga barn, a meditation room, a Pilates studio, a fitness room, and a fifty-meter lap pool. REVĪVŌ aims to soothe the spirit, rejuvenate the body and enrich the mind.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 7 nights at REVIVO from £3,355pp of £5,235 for single occupancy. Price is full board, with a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Pravassa, Worldwide

Offering wellness experiences in different parts of the world, embark on a wellness adventure designed to address your self-care needs. With their five-tenet wellness travel philosophy: breathe, move, mindfulness, nourish and experience, engage in immersive real-life opportunities with your idea of well-being in mind. You can travel on a custom itinerary or as part of their premium group retreats, and their wellness experts will be there to guide you throughout your journey. Have a taste of culture, wellness, luxury and a well-deserved down time so you can return home renewed and fully rejuvenated.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers a 3 – 11 night Pravassa tour for £3,500pp.

Ayii Anargyri, Cyrpus

A natural healing retreat located in the west of Cyprus, Ayii Anargyri boasts an inherent atmosphere for health and restoration. Choose from a variety of programs that offer different solutions to your wellness needs, including detox, weight management, fitness, and holistic healing focusing on specific health conditions like psoriasis and arthritis. You can also easily indulge in a range of different spa treatments to leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. With excellent spa and fitness facilities, Ayii Anargyri provides the right space to take some well-deserved time out for yourself to completely relax and unwind.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 7 nights at Ayii Anargyri from £1,040pp or £1,475 for single occupancy. Price is full board, with a wellness programme and return private transfers.

Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

Wind your way up the scenic hills of Phapos and discover this idyllic 5-star golf, tennis and spa resort. With lush accommodation and an award-winning spa, Aphrodite Hills allows for an experience that truly embodies its philosophy of luxury, serenity and vitality. In between activities, replenish your energy with pampering spa treatments from hot stone massages to flower detox wraps. Explore the surrounding coastal region of Cyprus on a cycle tour during the day before you set the tone for a casual evening of alfresco dining at one of the 5 dining options to best suite your taste.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 offers 7 nights at Aphrodite Hills from £1,105pp or £1,510 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme and return private transfers.

For advice, guidance and booking visit or call 0203 397 8891

October 4, 2016

Seven Ways to Turn a Back Street Business into an Award Winning Player


Build a team – and appreciate it

Football: Ever noticed Pep Guardiola when Man City are playing? He stands on the touch line or sits in the dugout. You never see him in goal, shot stopping. Or playing centre half, stopping attacks. Or running up field trying to score a goal. He manages the team.

Ever find yourself shot stopping in your organization? Or running up field trying to score a goal? Why do we do that when we have a team? The problem with a lot of entrepreneurs and managers is they try to do everything themselves. It’s time to delegate and save your time. List all the functions that happen in your organization. Then delegate each function to one of your team. Have one key person managing each department and have them report to you every week. This way you can manage the department with your departmental manager offering support and advice when needed, with them having full control and support off you to make decisions and get things done.

A human being will do ten things in a day. 9 really well and 1 not so well. The problem with most organizations is the person will never hear anything good about the 9 things they did well, but they will never hear the last of the 1 thing they didn’t do so well. This drives morale into the floor and makes people perform poorly and eventually leave. Offer praise on an individual’s achievements and focus on the positive feedback. Watch them grow.


Work on the business - not in it

Once you have built a team, with departmental managers, have a general manager sit over the departmental managers. This is the one person who is calling the shots over the others in times of need. You only need deal with this one person daily with a team meeting once a week.

Get an office in your home. Work from there. You will gain a perspective of the business and be able to change it to what your vision is. Sometimes being in the woods means you can’t see the trees clearly. You get a better perspective of something if you are stood outside of it. The same happens when you work out of the business. With a mobile phone and a laptop, you can work from anywhere in the world and truly create a better work life balance. Imagine working from your Spanish holiday home, the beach or a coffee shop?

Once the operational side of the business is delegated out you can concentrate on training and motivating your team, improving your marketing and building a brand.


Invest time and money

Invest money on key assets. In the transport sector these assets are your vehicles. Then sweat those assets. Work them. Have them busy on contracts and income producing activity. Have financial targets for these assets and make sure you achieve them.

Train your team. Whatever department they work in, make sure they know what they are doing to the best of their ability. Most employers on the smaller side see training as a waste of time and money. They may have invested in their staff only to see them leave or not realize their full potential. Train your team so they are brilliant at what they do. Train them so they are good enough to be head hunted off another company, but treat them good enough so they wouldn’t want to leave


Listen to your customers

If you are offering a product or a service get your customers feedback on how you did. Then make improvements based off their suggestions. Have a ‘customer feedback form’ for the customer to complete after every experience. Make a holiday prize available to one lucky customer so people feel it worthwhile to complete your aftersales form. Regular customers who value your service will help you improve it because it will be to their benefit.

The improvement list will come in and you can start improving the business. Imagine contacting a company and telling them all the things you would like improving. Then they write back to you thanking you and informing you that they have made the changes and they can’t wait for you to experience the upgraded service. Customers love being listened to and being taken care of. Offer the best service with a smile.


Get audited

Get consultants to audit your business and improve your game. Meet these new guidelines. Consultants are like fitness trainers to businesses. Ever had a fitness trainer train you down the gym? They ask you to do a hundred sit ups and when you knock them out, when you get to ninety-five they say, “Give me another twenty!” Before you have even realized you have knocked another twenty out! You would not have done that without the motivation of a fitness coach. The same can be said in business with consultants. They push you to new parameters.

Set BIG goals and go and meet them. Having regular audits means you constantly thrive to be on the top of your game and this will be reflected in the service you offer and the financial rewards will follow.


Compete in industry awards

Who are the market leaders in your industry? What do they do that you don’t? Find out! The best way to become a market leader is work like one. An easy way to do this is compete in industry awards. You may think that you are not worthy to compete at an industry level but everyone has to start somewhere.

Completing applications for industry awards will make you think about your business right across the board and it will highlight weaknesses or areas that could be improved. This is the real joy about awards. It is not winning the award which is great in its self. It is the improvement to the business and the status it brings to your team. Ever wondered why the SAS was considered the elite soldier? Because they were called ‘Special’ – The Special Air Service. People grow another inch when they think they are special and they produce results to match.

Start competing at industry awards and follow people who are having the success you crave. Our life is what our thoughts make it. Start thinking successfully and your actions will produce the results you imagined.


Make it fun – create play at work

Who wants to work in an organization that is boring? I don’t! You don’t! Imagine working at Virgin or Apple? You bet it wouldn’t be boring would it?! So make your place an exciting place to work. What could you do to spice things up? Have breakfast with your team first thing on a Monday morning? Have a few cocktails after work on a Friday night? Take an activity day out team building? It’s all the rave in the corporate world of 2016. Take a day out to the races? Have a company barbeque? Organize a company holiday? Have a Christmas party? Whatever you do, plan it with enthusiasm. Keep it real not fake and have fun. See the joy it brings to the team. It is priceless.

(It was once said that Brian Clough the Nottingham Forest manager, took his players out to the pub on the eve of a European Cup Final for three beers. He thought it would create a party atmosphere, settle the nerves, and made sure the players slept before the biggest game of the club’s history. It worked!)

What can you do to create some fun?


Best Regards,

September 14, 2016

How to Avoid Litigation and Ensure All Your School Trips Are Care-Free and Fun-Packed

Who would take a school trip in today’s ‘compensation culture’ society? Embarking further than the school gates with groups of young people is an increasingly terrifying prospect, given the alarm caused by highly publicised disasters and the explosion of paperwork that accompanies such events.

Despite this, every year, around one million, four hundred thousand passengers take excursions with Belle Vue and return fit and well, with a new enthusiasm for one another.

“There is no doubt,” said one teacher, “that trips are entirely worthwhile - they can have the effect of transforming one’s relationship with children. You have a chance to experience each other with the defences down and make contact on a human level that school often precludes.”

By starting early and keeping the tips below in mind, a school trip can be a rewarding and relatively painless experience. Funtastic school trips start here….

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June 20, 2013

Passenger Safety – how NOT to do it!

Looking at the article by Mel Holley in Routeone’s magazine on page 12, dated 6 June 2013. It tells of a story of a coach operator taking a trip to Alton Towers from Scotland in March 2010.

Unfortunately the coach was travelling in snowy, icy weather and the vehicle collided with a bridge on the A73 near Biggar, Lanarkshire, and fell into the river, resulting in the loss of life of a student, Natasha Paton.

However, while Sheriff Nikola Stewart said the standard of driving was the cause of the accident, she concluded that the fatality would probably have been avoided if Miss Paton had worn her seat belt.

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