A FAMILY-run Weymouth coach company is in the running for a national award to recognise the country's best operators.

Bluebird Coaches has been shortlisted in the British Coach Tourism Awards in the Coach Tour Operator - Medium Fleet category.

The firm, celebrating 95 years in the business operates from a booking office on the Esplanade and the coach base in Chickerell.

Managing Director Martyn Hoare said: “Bluebird Coaches' success is mainly due to its ‘family-feel’, fantastic staff and drivers. I am extremely proud to have been nominated for this national award and we are over the moon to have reached the final five in this competition."

He added: "Four generations of the Hoare family have been involved in the running of the company, which started in 1924, when my grandfather, Fredrick Cecil Hoare started a coach business on Portland using a small Fiat vehicle.

"I am very proud to see my daughter Gemma join the company as Commercial Manager continuing the Bluebird name into the future.”

Winners of the British Coach Tourism Awards are considered as the industry’s elite by the entire coach sector and ultimately set the bar for standards of excellence.

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner and presentation evening hosted by Carol Vorderman on Wednesday, March 20 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham.