Top National Bus Driver 2009

The late Chris Moyes, in whose memory this award is presented

The Chris Moyes Memorial Award

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The logo of the award sponsors Passenger Focus

This award is presented in memory of Chris Moyes, the former chief executive of the Go-Ahead Group who died so tragically young in 2006. In addition to our award in his memory, friends and colleagues in the industry have established the Chris Moyes Scholarship Trust to help develop young management talent in the industry. Click HERE for more information.

This competition brings together the verdict of bus passengers, employers and mystery travellers to recognise and reward drivers who really do deliver for their customers.

To win the title of Top National Bus Driver, entrants need to go that extra mile to provide the customer’s ideal: a driver who is friendly, helpful, conscientious, mindful of passengers’ comfort and well-being – in short, a true professional and worthy ambassador for the job.

Winner: Barry Allitt, TrentBarton, Nottinghamshire

Top National Driver Barry AlittBarry has been driving buses since March 1998, and has worked for TrentBarton since February 2007. He has been described as 'one in a million' on more than one occasion by grateful customers. Cliché that expression may be, but at TrentBarton, his managers are convinced that it is actually true!
Says his boss Sharon Bailey, Area Operations Manager at Nottingham: “Nobody meeting Barry can fail to notice his positive, can-do approach to life. When Barry is around, it is as if he brings the sunshine with him. He often says that he is in the perfect job; such is his genuine love of people. He treats customers as his friends, and on the Nottinghamshire streets of Bingham and Radcliffe (his regular territory), one will even see passers-by wave to Barry as he drives along.”

Barry has often gone above and beyond the call of duty, and one of his many customer commendations relates to a difficult situation when he came to the rescue of bystanders caught up in a particularly ugly incident, keeping calm, helping others and seeing the situation all the way through to satisfactory conclusion.

His good work was rewarded by promotion to Team Leader on his Radcliffe line and bingham xprss brands – where his commitment has led to an all-round sharper edge in quality of customer care provided by the team. Barry was nominated as TrentBarton’s Driver of the Month in February 2008 - and won the coveted title of TrentBarton’s Driver of the Year in April 2009.

Barry Allitt has received many accolades, including the ultimate recognition of Driver of the Year – at a company famous for its customer focus and high standards. Said Sharon, “We believe he is such an exceptional and genuine guy that his good work merits even wider recognition.”

Runner Up: Patricia Taylor, Arriva North East, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Runner up Patricia Taylor from Whitby in North YorkshirePatricia Taylor joined Arriva North East in May 1970, and has been a bus driver since March 1981. Pat holds a position as a Welfare representative and also the local rota representative.

She regularly receives letters of commendation, which report what a pleasant, courteous, polite and helpful driver she is. Patricia often waits for customers while they run to catch their bus service and always displays excellent customer care skills.

In 2007, Patricia received an internal Arriva “Pride” assessment in which she obtained the highest scores achievable – with special note taken of her smart appearance and advice to a lady boarding with a buggy on where it should be positioned and her explanation of the reasons for this.
Says Arriva’s Catherine Earnshaw, “Patricia is a very helpful member of staff and she is always willing to assist in the traffic office by covering shifts, organising drivers or any other matters that arise.”

Highly Commended

Billy Cook, Go North East, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear

Billy Cook, finalist from Go North EastBilly has worked for Go North East for 6½ years, and been driving buses for the same length of time. Amongst the routes he drives regularly on is the articulated bus service which connects the area with the MetroCentre, Tyneside’s major shopping destination.

He regularly receives individual commendations from passengers for his positive attitude towards customers, and was recently commended by Nexus (the Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive) for his work as part of a promotional team to meet the public.

His boss Martin Hughes comments: “Very few members of staff I have worked with over my 30 years of working in the industry have gievn such consistently high performance each and every day. Billy came to us late in his working life but has seen progression onto articulated driving, mentoring and regularly chosen for promotional work representing Go North East.”

Brian Gosling, Arriva the Shires & Essex, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

Brian Gosling from Arriva the Shires & EssexBrian has a worked for Arriva and its predecessors for over 45 years, having joined the old London Transport bus and coach division at Hemel Hempstead in August 1964. He has certainly seen some changes over the years, as he has worked not only as a driver for 32 of them, but also as a conductor and in the operational and administration offices.

His bosses at Arriva say that not only is Brian meticulous in his daily duties, he also has a real passion for ensuring information for both drivers and customers is up to date, accurate and relevant.  He regularly comes up with ideas and initiatives to encourage customers to make additional journeys. Manager Linsey Frostick says:  “He is very well respected within the depot.  His appearance is immaculate, his behaviour is impeccable and his commitment to Hemel Hempstead depot, Arriva and the bus industry as a whole is exceptional.”

“He eptiomises the role of the friendly bus driver,” added Linsey. “He demonstrates to everyone that being a bus driver is so much more than taking people from A to B, and that the right attitude commitment and experience can really make a difference.”

Graham Killingworth, Arriva North East, Alnwick, Northumberland

Graham Killingworth from Arriva North EastGraham has been driving buses since 1976, first joined Arriva in 2006.

Hie regularly receives commendations from Arriva’s customers, being particularly praised during last winter’s bad weather for being so cheerful, greeting all his passengers whilst having to deal with adverse weather conditions and ensuring that all his passengers were delivered safely at their stops.

This summer, he was praised again for his cheerful attitude, especially when greeting boarding customers. He also called out the name of each village for the benefit of strangers to the area. He was seen to be a credit to the company as his cheerful commentary added a great deal of value to their bus journey.

His boss Catherine Earnshaw from Arriva North East says of him, “Graham is very flexible, always willing to alter his working pattern or work at other depot locations if required. He always has a smile on his face and is very cheerful. Graham is always in punctual for work and is a great ambassador for the company.”

Karen Parker, First in Berkshire, Bracknell, Berkshire

First in Berkshire's Karen ParkerThe immediate prompt for Karen’s nomination was a passenger commendation praising her excellent qualities. Karen was nominated for spotting 2 passengers who wanted to cross the road and board her bus. She waited and ensuring they crossed safely held the bus for them.

What she didn’t know was that the passenger had numerous connections to make and if the initial connection had been missed the rest of the itinerary would have been ruined. Karen’s small act of awareness therefore meant that a passenger’s journey was not ruined and it is this type of activity that earned her an internal First Group “Superstars” Award last December.

Passengers regularly comment on Karen’s work, calling her “pleasant, helpful and efficient”. “She maintains a friendly disposition and handles difficult situations,” said another.

Says her boss David Fielding, “Nominating Karen for this award was an easy decision. We hope that she gets the wider recognition that her day in, day out delivery deserves.”


Who could be nominated?

Any licensed PCV driver in full-time employment on registered local bus services outside London, who has been in continuous employment for the 12 months ended 31 May 2009.

… and by whom?

We welcomeD nominations from employers, bus passengers or bus user groups, or other organisations. Self-nomination was NOT appropriate for this category.

Nominations were co-ordinated on behalf of the Bus Industry Awards Ltd by Bus Users UK.The logo of Bus Users UK

Criteria and Entry Requirements

Where drivers are nominated for this award, their employers were contacted, and asked to:

  • Endorse the nomination and supply further information about the employee to us
  • Obtain the nominee's consent to their name being put forward for the award.

Entrants will be assessed by the judges on their technical and professional skill. Evidence of this will be required from their employers and could include:

  • The nominee’s accident record
  • Number and duration of safe driving awards won by the nominee
  • Technical and professional skills, as evidenced by such items as internal driver assessment reports or marks achieved in driving competitions
  • Disciplinary record
  • Public Commendations

In addition, short-listed entrants for the Top National Bus Driver award were subject to mystery traveller checks

The winner of the Top National Bus Driver prize will be the individual who best represents the whole range of professional and customer care skills required for this important and highly demanding job.

The TEG logoThe UK Bus Awards scheme is organised by The Bus Industry Awards Limited, a company registered in England & Wales No 3332837.

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