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Heathside Travel was founded in 2015 by Tim Southby. Tim had wanted to be a coach driver from a young age, and it was his ambition to run his own coach company. He completed his driver training at age 21 and worked for two companies in the local area as a coach driver. He also had a job as a business development manager so he could understand the business side of how a company runs, and worked as an operations manager for a coach company to further his understanding of how to operate a coach company. During this time he also studied for his Certificate of Professional Competence. This qualification allowed him to apply for his operator’s license and start Heathside Travel.
Heathside Travel started off with one 19 seat luxury mini coach which was operated from the family home in Ferndown, and demand was such that a 35 seat coach soon joined the fleet, and new premises were used to store the vehicles. The fleet has since grown even more, and the company’s policy of buying luxury vehicles which are environmentally friendly continues. We have also expanded into providing our own day trips and holidays alongside the private hire, after requests from our clients.
We pride ourselves on the excellence of our staff. Our drivers have a wealth of experience in the coaching industry and are on hand throughout the hire to help with whatever is needed. Mike, Dave and Russ are our full time drivers and are the ones you are most likely to meet on board – we also have some excellent part time drivers who you will see from time to time.
Hannah is our office manager, and came on board full time in 2022. Her job is to ensure that things run smoothly and she also oversees the day trip and holiday programmes – from organising the trips to taking bookings. If you ring the office, she is the one you are most likely to speak to.
Awards and Affiliations
Heathside Travel have been nominated for and won a number of industry awards. In 2018 we were finalists in the Route One Awards, in the category of Small Coach Operator of the Year. Companies are nominated by industry peers, cementing our place as a leading operator in our industry.
We have also been nominated each year since then. We were also finalists in the UK Coach Awards 2020 in the category of Small Coach Operator of the Year, and Tim was a finalist for Industry Professional of the Year. Sadly, however, these awards did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020 we won the Silver Award in the Destination Awards, run in association with Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council, recognising good customer service and contribution to local tourism.
Heathside Travel are members of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) and the Road Haulage Association – Coach Division (RHA). These memberships demonstrate our commitment to professional high standards and give us access to a wealth of industry guidance for best practice and also updates to the law and driving standards, ensuring that we remain fully compliant.
Testimonials & Reviews
Thank you for a splendid day trip to London. The driver was so welcoming and friendly. His driving was excellent. This all contributed to my pleasurable day. Thanks again.
Dorothy – Ferndown
Just a note to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Durham – thank you for a good few days. The hotel was ideally placed and comfortable, and we enjoyed the food. Lastly we cannot fault David and Caroline. They both worked hard to make our trip such a pleasure.
Terry & Marilyn – West Moors
We have had another lovely holiday with Heathside Travel. Dave and Terry have worked very hard to make sure everything has run to plan and they have succeeded, nothing has been too much trouble for them. Thanks it was amazing.
Rosemary & Doug – West Moors
I could not have been more delighted with the service and will definitely be recommending your company to others. I can honestly say that everyone I encountered from first enquiry to booking, to the journey itself were so helpful and friendly. We will certainly be using you again.
Amanda – Christchurch
Fantastic service, friendly driver, lovely clean coach with complimentary water. Highly recommend!
Quay Crew – Bournemouth
Tim takes great pride in the outstanding condition of his coaches. Outstanding service – many thanks
Tom – Sevenoaks
Tim Southby, driver of coach, was really friendly, professional, accommodating and smart. We will definitely be making Heathside Travel our main transport for future trips.
The Burgate School and Sixth Form