A bus driver from Wearside has been hailed as top of the stops for his driving skills.
Stagecoach North East employee David Glasper, from Southwick, has won the company’s Regional Bus Driver of the Year accolade for the 11th year.
David had to complete a series of rigorous tests to challenge their driving skills, including a theory test on all aspects of the Highway Code, road safety and hazard awareness, and a comprehensive driving test assessed by Driving Standards Manager Joe Carr, who organised the competition.
Each driver was also assessed on their individual record, with a low Ecodriver score from the company’s green driving programme, excellent attendance and accident-free record until the day of the competition.
A bus driver for 22 years, David was delighted to win again and then go on to represent Stagecoach North East as a finalist at the national Bus Driver of the Year Awards in Blackpool.
In total 100 bus and coach drivers took part in the 51st UK competition, which this year saw horrendous weather for the participants, making the course even tougher.
Drivers are given a bus that they are unfamiliar with and are only given a few minutes to prepare and get used to the way they run.
Competitors are also expected to drive a course around the streets of Blackpool and during this, customers can get on board as it is classed as a regular bus service.
Prior to the driving challenge, David was able to enjoy a Gala dinner at Hilton Hotel with over 400 people from the industry and discuss strategy and tactics with the competition.
David, who placed in the top 25 for all Stagecoach drivers in the country with 19 regional Stagecoach operations nationally, said: “Although I haven’t beaten my all time best position of 23rd in the national competition, I was delighted to make the finals for my 11th year.
“To reach the top 100 bus drivers from national bus and coach companies such as First and Arriva, is great recognition.
“But the real reward for me is to win the regional competition.
“To come top in the North East again is an achievement and my wife and I had an excellent weekend.”
Colin Newbury, operations director at Stagecoach North East, presented prizes to the top drivers, with David winning a cash boost of £250 for first place.
He said: “Alongside our initiatives such as Ecodriver, Fleet Elite and Rosco Safe Driving Awards, the bus driver awards are another example of our drivers taking training to the next level and providing excellent customer service along the way.”