Operators urged to choose entrants for Bus Driver of the Year 2019
First held in 1967, the national Bus Driver of the Year competition enters its 53rd year with a call out to operators across the UK this month, inviting them to consider their applicants for 2019.
Last year, 91 entrants from large and small operators throughout the country took part in the national final and both the overall winner and runner-up came from Stagecoach companies. Ian Field from Stagecoach East Scotland was crowned “UK Bus Driver of the Year 2018”, winning the BDoY Trophy and a cheque for £1,500 which was sponsored by the Road Operators’ Safety Council. He received a further £1,500 from the union, Unite, as well as being awarded the John Boxall Medallion, which is named after the BDoY founder.
Drivers of local bus and inter-urban express services are eligible to compete if they have been employed as a driver, (not necessarily by the same company,) since 1st September of the year preceding the competition and during the same period have not been involved in an accident for which they are in any way at fault, have not been absent from work for any period exceeding fourteen weeks’ continuous duration and have no extant endorsements on their licences. BDoY seeks to reward full-time drivers who exercise their skills throughout the year, so it’s also a requirement that a driver works at least three full shifts per week in order to qualify.
At this stage, operators need only decide the number of drivers they wish to enter for the National Final in order to return the application form and the entry fee. Companies will then receive an information pack to enable them to proceed with selection of their best drivers. In view of the high demand for the limited places in the final, companies are urged not to delay in submitting their applications, which must be received by the BDoY Competition Secretary, Paul Mackay, no later than the end of April.
Commented Joe Mackie, Chairman of the BDoY Association: “We are particularly keen to have more entries from all sectors of the industry as the National Final is a fantastic place for operators of all sizes to showcase their drivers’ skills and especially their commitment to excellent customer service.”
The national final will be held in September in Blackpool, which has been the venue for the competition since 1982.