2017 Top National Bus Driver

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The Chris Moyes Memorial Award

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

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.

Results 2017

Winner, Gold Award

Maks Pruszewicz – Reading Buses

Maks Pruszewicz who drives buses in heavly congested Reading.

Maks Pruszewicz has a strong history of driving and customer roles and combining these in bus driving he’s found a job and a company that he loves. This shines through every day in his work, helping him to become the Reading Buses ‘Driver of the Year’ as well as taking the coveted ‘Star of the Year’ accolade. With numerous customer compliments for being friendly and smiley, he’s gained particular praise for helping a lady in labour, assisting wheelchair users, waiting for someone on crutches and even for respecting a funeral cortege. Regardless of the situation, Maks is super enthusiastic and smilingà always! He’s got the perfect ingredients for a brilliant bus driver: excellent mystery traveller reports, zero accidents in three years, zero sickness in five years and a huge pile of customer compliments.

The judges noted that Maks seems to have all the requirements for a gold winning bus driver. He’s well liked by customers and his work colleagues, has received lots of commendations from passengers and has achieved a 100% score in Reading Buses own mystery traveller programme. What more is there to say?

Winner, Silver Award

Dale French – Transdev Blazefield

Enjoying a laugh is Dale French, who works on the award-winning Cityzap route between Leeds and York.

“Dale French is one of the most cheerful and outgoing people you could wish to meet,” says his enthusiastic employer Transdev Blazefield. Dale drives out of the York depot and is loved by his customers. His background in tourism allows Dale to go beyond the traditional role of a bus driver by understanding he is there to provide a high level of customer service. A professional driver, he is keen to add to the company communications by engaging with customers one on one and even on his own twitter page to let his customers know what’s happening. He is a regular driver on Cityzap, but relishes the opportunity to drive City Sightseeing for overtime. He is both passionate and interested in both the company and its customers.

The judges noted that Dales sees his role not merely to satisfy his customers, but to delight them. He readily adapts to the different kinds of customer interaction needed when driving the Cityzap or City Sightseeing services.

Winner, Bronze Award

Phil Hadley – Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company

Phil Hadley from Brighton and Hove - whose compliments are weighed rather than counted!

Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company’s driver Phil Hadley gets so many customer compliments, the joke is they’re no longer counted, but weighed. You only have to mention his name around the depot in Hove and you’ll hear “Ah, he’s the one that gets all the compliments . . .” Phil is authentic and it’s this that totally disarms his customers. His insistence on chatting to customers and the board and alight breaks down social barriers and reminds his passengers how much they want to belong, feel valued and be part of a community. As Phil says: “The only reason I do what I do is because I want to build a better community to live in.”

“This entry put a smile on my face and made me want to get on his bus,” commented one of the judges. The panel also noted Phil’s excellent service record over many years.


Sean Thomas – Arriva Midlands

Sean Thomas, who drivers buses from Aylesbury depot in Buckinghamshire.

Sean Thomas has been driving buses for Arriva Midlands out of Aylesbury for the last four years and in that time he has built up an impressive collection of customer accolades. Courteous, positive, smartly-dressed and helpful, Sean has delighted passengers across the region with his caring attitude and determination to go the extra mile in providing outstanding customer care. His willingness to get stuck in to hard work, his professionalism and his flexibility with working patterns and locations, coupled with an easy-going and cheerful attitude, have won him the respect of colleagues and management alike. Customers have frequently held Sean up as an example to others, and he has embraced the opportunity to pass on his experience by becoming an in-service trainer to act as teacher and mentor to new Arriva drivers.

The judges noted the large number of excellent commendations from his customers who highlighted Sean’s caring attitude and professionalism.

Neil Atherton – Arriva North West and Wales

Neil Atherton from Arriva's Runcorn depot.

Neil Atherton is based in Arriva North West and Wales’ Runcorn depot and is described as a credit to Arriva. Neil has won the company’s own national driver of the year once and a regional award twice. He has exceptional customer service skills and has received more commendations than anyone else at the Runcorn depot. When a major diversion was in place last year, Neil volunteered to be put on the front line dealing with the affected customers which he turned into a positive exchange with customers. Neil jumps into every situation with 100% commitment.

Clearly a very popular driver with his customers, the judges were impressed with Neil’s customer service skills and the high number of commendations he receives.

Brett Haskett – Arriva Midlands

Taamworth's Brett Haskett in the spotlight.

“Brett is one of the genuine, home-bred superstars of our industry – consistently acting as a real customer champion and a passionate ambassador for travelling by bus,” enthuses his employer, Arriva Midlands. Well known in the Tamworth community for his cheerful nature and ‘going the extra mile’, he is something of a local celebrity. In all of his work, from dressing up as Father Christmas during the festive period through to welcoming new drivers and training them in his recent appointed role as a mentor, Brett makes a significant contribution to bus travel in the West Midlands. Brett works well as part of a team but is also known for his initiative, and ability to think beyond the immediate situation. He is popular around the garage, being a wonderful colleague and friend to all.

Brett impressed the judges with his professionalism and his willingness to help colleagues and get involved in activities for the local community and delight his passengers, such as dressing up as Father Christmas.

Jayson Heath – Kinchbus

Jayson Heath, nominated by Kinchbus but who is moving to Cardiff Bus.

Jayson Heath is only 23 but has already proved himself to be an outstanding bus driver working from Kinchbus’ Loughborough depot. He joined the company from the Greggs bakery chain, and even at his interview it was clear that here was a young man who was extremely comfortable dealing with lots of people and making them feel good about being a customer of his employer. He’s all smiles and has the gift of making people laugh and feel better about their day. But he’s not just a positive personality, Jayson, who drives the skylink service which links Leicester, Loughborough and Derby with East Midlands Airport, cares about his customers, as was illustrated when a lady passenger approached Jayson on arrival at the airport asking if he had seen her husband get off the bus. She explained he had dementia and was she was growing increasingly concerned about his safety as they had not been able to sit together on the bus. Jayson safely left his bus and found the man inside the terminal building. He was able to convince him that he should return to the bus and carry on the journey with his wife. All this was done with no fuss, and Jayson explained to his other passengers why he had stopped the bus. He has been nominated by his colleagues for the first ever Kinchbus Driver of the Year award.

Kinchbus’ first Driver of the Year, Jayson impressed the judges with is consistently high mystery traveller scores.

Who can 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 welcome 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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