2019 Top National Bus Driver

Top National Bus Driver: the Chris Moyes Memorial Award sponsored by sponsored by Volvo Bus

Winner, Gold Award, Jatinder Kumar – Nottingham City Transport

Since growing up in a rural Indian village, Jatinder’s always put other people first. Leaving the family home and moving country so he could pay for his sisters’ education, he is one of the most loving, compassionate and caring people you could ever meet. Nothing is too much trouble for Jatinder! Whether it’s helping his colleagues out with shift changes, supporting them with issues on the road or delivering exceptional service to his customers with his wide beaming smile, it’s always others who come first. Jatinder has a fantastic employment record, with just 5 days sickness in 11 years; no accidents or complaints on his record and a telematics score that puts him in the top 3% of all 800 drivers at NCT. Customers love Jatinder, with numerous commendations on his file. When he was crowned NCT’s Driver of the Year, he achieved a mystery traveller score of 93% and they described him as someone who “is a perfectionist, doing his job to the maximum with no fuss and a pleasure to travel with. A fantastic asset to NCT”.

The judges noted Jatinder’s excellent record of driving and customer service over a sustained period, amplified by the comments of the mystery travellers and the many customer commendations he has received. They also noted his support for other driver colleagues at NCT and that he has been the company’s driver of the year and a worthy gold winner.

Winner, Silver Award, Keith Thomas – First Cymru

Keith Thomas is a driver on a mission, after the Swansea grandfather was given a stoma in a life-changing operation during which his entire bowel was removed to prevent it from rupturing. Keith’s stoma bag is his ‘bag for life’, literally. Shortly after the operation, in 2013 Keith became a driver for First Cymru, and a passionate advocate, raising awareness about the condition, challenging taboos, and encourages people with the same condition to feel confident about stoma bags. He also has been championing the need for greater awareness amongst drivers for hidden disabilities. Blessed with unbridled positivity, Keith is very popular with passengers and looks after his fellow colleagues: He makes sure every new driver feels at ease in those daunting first few days in the job by meeting them and offer a chat. An avid user of social media, Keith leaves no opportunity unused to flaunt his designer ‘bag for life’ and his twitter feed is rife with his fundraising achievements, such as climbing South Wales’ highest mountain, or doing 5K every week over a year. His unique blend of positivity, advocacy and fundraising for charities attracted the attention of regional and national media.

Particularly noting how he supports new drivers and his charity work.

Winner, Bronze Award, Gurnam Singh – Stagecoach West

From Milkman to Bus Driver – Gurnam Singh always delivers! In his two years of employment with Stagecoach West Gurnam has generated a record breaking 56 customer commendations and has become our Customer Service Driver of the Year. Gurnam is a true role model for exemplary customer service,safe and smooth driving and he is professional is all aspects of his behaviour. We are so proud of Gurnam and we know that you will be equally impressed with his attitude to his role. Gurnam’s safety and environmental credentials through his fantastic on bus telematic scores are second to none and demonstrate that he is a complete package. This isn’t a job to Gurnam, it is a career which he is completely passionate about.

‘He shows unconditional care to every passenger on his bus,’ was one of the fifty-six commendations this driver has received over the past two years.

Finalist, Gerard Porter – Translink

As a Lead Driver in Strabane Depot Gerard Porter is not only a great example of a skilled driver but has demonstrated excellent focus on the importance of looking after our customers. Gerard makes great efforts to look after his fellow drivers in his depot as he knows that a happy workforce will result in them providing better service to customers. His efforts have helped convert a waste area of the yard into a staff relaxation area with decking, greenhouse and raised fruit/veg beds. Gerard organises a lot of charity and social events for the staff. This year for the first time Strabane Depot was awarded a Spirit Of Translink Platinum Award, this was almost entirely down to Gerard. Gerard has an exemplary driving, attendance and disciplinary record and the example he sets is being followed by his fellow drivers within his depot who appreciate his efforts and have great respect for him. In summary Gerard is a great example of how the efforts of one driver can have a really positive effect on his fellow workers and in turn, our customers.

Finalist, Tracey Pemberton – trentbarton

As a bus driver – and a person providing a public service – Tracey Pemberton is a model of consistent excellence. Every one of her mystery auditor scores in her 12 years driving buses has been well above average. Tracey simply does not have an off day. She doesn’t even have unexpected days off, not one since 2014. And to put that unbroken 11-strong run of above average audit scores in context, trentbarton’s drivers are the reigning champions for customer approval in the national Transport Focus survey. So when, in April, Tracey was named trentbarton’s Driver of the Year at the 2019 really good service awards, she truly was crowned the very best of the very best. The former hospital cleaner decided to try her hand bus driving and says she loved it from the first day: “Everyone who gets on my bus is lovely. They make your job nice. I love people, I’ve always loved people, and I love doing this job.” Her boss thinks she’s a model employee, her customers rate her very highly and the service professionals who judge trentbarton’s drivers said Tracey has a way of making it all look so smooth and effortless. It’s a winning combination.

Finalist, Bronagh McDonnell – Ulsterbus

Bronagh McDonnell joined Translink in 2005. In her 14 years of service, she has an impeccable driving record, is a strong team player and has embraced the “social” aspects of her job, improving the working environment for herself and her colleagues. Bronagh has held numerous charity breakfasts and events to raise money for charitable and good causes, rallying support from both other staff and Ulsterbus customers. She has been instrumental in developing an unused part of the bus park into a picnic area for drivers, which led to her bus station, Newry Bus Centre, winning a Platinum SPIRIT of Translink Facility Award. Twice a year she brings children from mainstream and special needs schools to carry out a replanting exercise around the picnic area. Bronagh also organises bi-monthly hill walks for drivers and their families. In recognition of long-serving staff with 40+ years of service, Bronagh arranged for their long service recognition pictures to be displayed on the wall in Newry bus centre and organised a lunch to mark the launch of the “picture wall”.

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