20 November 2019
Nottingham City Transport driver Jatinder Kumar was crowned ‘Top National Bus Driver 2019’ yesterday at the UK Bus Awards in London, and Gurnam Singh from Swindon, Stagecoach West took the bronze.
Until the award ceremony yesterday it was not known that Jatinder and Gurnam are both originally from Nanda Chaur in the north of India, a village with a population of just 3,500. They fought off competition from tens of thousands of bus drivers nationwide to take the top titles.
On winning Jatinder said: “When you’re nominated the dream has started. I never thought about that. I was a really normal person, struggling for a job. It’s something I never thought about. Now it’s a dream!”
He added: “Until I was at the award ceremony in London and I spoke to Gurnam we had no idea that we were from the same village, it was such a surprise.”
The Top National Bus Driver award is highly contested and is sponsored by Volvo Bus, it recognises outstanding achievements in delivering exceptional customer service as well as driving safely and considerately.
Superstar bus driver Jatinder Kumar is described by his employer as: “One of the most compassionate and caring people you could ever meet.’ He moved to the UK so he could pay for his sisters’ education, putting other people first comes second nature to him.”
Former Milkman Gurnam Singh, has recorded a staggering 56 customer commendations in his first two years of being a bus driver. He is described as being ‘a true role model for exemplary customer service, safe and smooth driving and he is professional in all aspects of his work.’
Silver went to Keith Thomas, a Swansea grandfather and driver at First Cymru, who, from personal experience, is a passionate advocate for raising awareness about hidden disabilities.
Mark Yexley, Chairman of the UK Bus Awards, said: “Huge congratulations to Jatinder, what a fabulous achievement! Congratulations to Keith and Gurnam too, they have also done tremendously well. We were astonished to learn that Jatinder and Gurnam were from the same village in India, they must have some of the best bus drivers going!”