Top National Bus Driver

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

The Chris Moyes Memorial Award

This Award is presented to the bus driver who has best demonstrated excellent performance from the customer perspective in the 12 month period to the end of May each year.

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.

Nominations for this Award are open to members of the public and also to bus company managers.

Winner, Gold Award

Dave Forrester - Southern Vectis

"What a joy to work with this young man," enthuses bus driver Dave Forrester's employer, Southern Vectis. "Not only is he the consummate professional, he is also fun to have around with never a bad word to say about anybody and never a complaint about him from our customers or his co-workers." Dave started with Southern Vectis in 2011 as a network bus driver, quickly learning all the routes across the Isle of Wight. The following year he applied to work on the prestigious seasonal open top services, and with his excellent record and enthusiastic personality, he was a great hit with tourists who also appreciated his encyclopedic knowledge of the island and its many attractions - both man made and created by nature. Dave used his layover to actively engage with passing tourists and persuaded them to travel. His hard work was demonstrated by an increase in sales when he was on duty. Dave has turned his hand to any type of driving required, stepping in to cover school bus shifts at short notice and also actively volunteering to assist at the many events for which the company provides transport during the season. For the past year, Dave has been appointed as a Relief Controller, covering control duties when not required for his primary role of driving. Not only has he reached the level of being a Relief Controller within a relatively short time period, he has done it in such a way that has earned him the respect of his colleagues.

Clearly a very popular member of the team at Southern Vectis, the judges noted Dave's willingness to go above and beyond his role, such as to increase sales on the open top services in the summer. He is dedicated to providing his passengers with a good service, no matter what type of service he is driving. And he has earned the respect of his colleagues having been voted employee of the month earlier this year.

Winner, Silver Award

Denis McMahon - Abellio Surrey

"Denis McMahon embodies an ideal customer-focussed bus driver," enthuses his employer, Abellio Surrey. He's based at the company's Byfleet depot and loves his job, always ensuring that his customers have a safe and pleasant journey. He greets all of them as they board and and wishes them a nice day as they get off. Despite having only been with the company for two and a half years, he has received an impressive amount of customer commendations, and in March this year he won the Employee of the Year at the Group-wide Abellio Achievement Awards. "Denis is an inspiration to his colleagues and a credit to the bus industry!"

Although having only been a driver for three years, Denis clearly enjoys his job and his driving and exceptional customer service skills have been recognised by his employer becoming Abellio Group Employee of the Year. The judges noted that he likes to share his knowledge and has been seconded to other garages in London to pass on his skills to other drivers. He is is certainly an asset to the industry.

Winner, Bronze Award

Karen Wilson - Arriva Yorkshire

Based at Arriva Yorkshire's Castleford Depot, driver Karen Wilson has received numerous commendations from customers and colleagues. Her driving and customer service skills have been recognised recently by the company, appointing her as a mentor for new drivers. She helps with route learning and ensures all new drivers are fully aware of all aspects of customer care, safety and customer's expectations. Karen has great empathy and is brilliant at dealing with difficult situations. She goes out of her way to build relationships with her customers, and takes their feedback about route and timetable improvements on board. "Karen he has a heart warming personality and is a credit to the organisation," enthuses her employer.

A customer service champion, the judges noted Karen's commitment to providing a good service to her passengers. She is also willing to help colleagues and has shown passion for the bus industry.

Finalists

Ian Walker - First Aberdeen

Ian Walker has passionately driven buses for First Aberdeen for 24 years. He has embraced life as a driver, and has successfully been elected by his peers as the Employee Director for Aberdeen. He regularly works his days off to help with community engagement projects and has spearheaded numerous safety campaigns. Whenever there's a seemingly impossible task, Ian is called upon - he's done everything from taking flowers to an elderly pedestrian involved in an incident, to volunteering to take local care home residents out for an ice cream and dressing up as Santa. His excellent customer service skills are evidenced through his many commendations, and he exceeds expectations in every performance review. Ian has also become actively involved in incident prevention using his day-to-day experience on the roads. His commitment and enthusiasm for whatever he does is infectious, and he is respected by his peers and leaders alike.

The judges noted that Ian is always prepared to get involved with additional activities, such as volunteering to take out residents of a local care home several times a year and creating 'welcome cards' for new employees. He has many customer commendations, greeting passengers as they get on board and waiting until they are seated before moving off.

Michal Kudla - First Essex

Michal Kudla has been a bus driver with First Essex for seven and a half years. He is reliable and is always immaculately dressed and his skills as a driver are excellent. Michal is committed to providing his passengers with the best possible customer service and has the best Drive Green score across First Essex, in fact, across the whole of the UK, he has the third best score. Michal's positive approach to driving and customer service is outstanding. He has worked on the Chelmer Valley Park & Ride service since it opened in April 2011 and has played a key role in helping develop the route into a sustainable and popular service. Michal is an exceptional employee who has excelled at all levels in his role as a bus driver.

The judges noted Michal's excellent Drive Green scores, which will give his passengers a smooth and safe ride, as well as his exemplary customer service skills that include giving every passenger a warm welcome onboard the vehicle. He makes sure his service is reliable and punctual and he had received many customer commendations. He's the sort of driver that you want in your depot.

Bryan Liddle - Transdev Blazefield

Brian Liddle started driving for Transdev Blazefield in 1989 and customer commendations started coming into the Keighley depot soon after and have continued to flow since then. He is always cheerful, helpful, knowledgeable and consistently offers customers a smooth and safe experience. Every passenger is given a cheery 'hello' as they board, and he understands the importance of providing the complete package of excellent customer service alongside a safe and reliable ride. He treats every customer as an individual and truly cares about every minute they spend on his bus. "I wish I could have another 200 Brians," says his employer.

The judges noted Brian's long service record of incident-free driving and excellent customer service record with a string of customer commendations.

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 in the year of the contest.

… and by whom?

We welcomed nominations from employers, bus passengers or bus user groups, or other organisations. Self-nomination is NOT appropriate for this category. We are working with Bus Users UK and Passenger Focus to deliver this award.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

Where drivers are nominated for this award, their employers will be 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 will be 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.

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