UK Bus Driver of the Year 2015
Stagecoach London driver, William Bradford, has been crowned UK Bus Driver of the Year 2015 at the competition’s national final in Blackpool. Aged just 22, he is thought to be one of the competition’s youngest ever winners, receiving the first prize of £1,500. He succeeded against over 118 other competitors. He received trophies and cash prizes after being named the competition’s overall winner as well as the best driver in England, the highest ranking London bus driver and the highest rated Stagecoach driver.
William said, ‘I was shocked when they announced I had won but I am ecstatically happy. It was a very challenging competition but it was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. I really enjoy driving. I’m still the youngest driver at the depot and everyone has been congratulating me and they’re all very happy for me since I got back. I’d like to thank everyone at Stagecoach who helped me get to the finals and the competition organisers as well.’
MD of Stagecoach’s UK Bus division, Robert Montgomery, said, ‘I am delighted and proud to see that William has been named UK Bus Driver of the Year. The competition was fierce and it’s great to know that one of our drivers is the best in the country.’
Second place was Tomasz Jagiello from McGill’s Buses, who received a £1,000 reward. Taking third place was Ipswich Buses’ Leon Wells, winning £750. Luke Towey from First South Yorkshire came fourth, taking a £500 prize. Winning £250 was the Oxford Bus Company’s David Cameron-Young, who came fifth.
There are also prizes for the best Driver CPC Knowledge and Highway Code test results, the best newcomer, the best driver from an English, a Scottish and a Welsh depot respectively, for the driver who has competed in the most consecutive National Finals and both the oldest and youngest competitors.
In addition, trophies are awarded by the major bus groups and TfL with a cheque for £500 to the best placed driver, and £250 for the runner-up, from one of their companies or a London Buses’ contractor. The ALBUM Trophy plus £500 is awarded to the highest placed finalist from a company in membership of the Association of Local Bus Company Managers and the Wrightbus Trophy goes to the best competitor from an independent company.
The competitors had to qualify in regional heats before competing in the national finals. The entrants took part in a series of driving tests in an attempt to win, including driving on a simulated route. It is completed on both private and public roads and drivers are required to keep to schedule. All competitors also need to complete a combined written test on the Highway Code and Driver CPC Knowledge. The winners also receive cups and trophies sponsored by leading suppliers to the bus industry. Every finalist receives a Certificate of Attendance, subsistence money and gifts presented each year by sponsors and the BDoY Board.