Bus back better with the best

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An image from the BDoY archives. In 2005, this Travel Coventry Mercedes-Benz was one of two pictured against the iconic backdrop of Blackpool Tower, along with a First Volvo. BDoY












Jonathan Welch learns more about the Bus Driver of the Year competition, which resumes this September with a chance for drivers to win significant cash prizes

After two years of hiatus, the organisers of the well-known and well-respected Bus Driver of the Year competition have decided that the time is right to bring the event back, with operators from around the British Isles being invited to enter their best drivers. To find out more about what goes into bringing the event to Blackpool’s promenade every year, I spoke to Bus Driver of the Year Chairman Joe Mackie OBE and the event’s Operations Director and Vice Chairman Keith Fieldhouse.

The current Bus Driver of the Year (BDoY) event has its origins in a Coventry Corporation road safety competition which was first first held in 1967 and organised by John Boxall MBE, who is now the Honorary President of BDoY. Over the years, more operators joined the event, and by the mid-1970s, it had become a national competition and now attracts entrants from across the British Isles. The national final has been held in Blackpool since 1982.

Joe explained more about the background to the event: “Bus Driver of the Year goes way back to Coventry City Council’s road safety department and a gentleman by the name of John Boxall, now John Boxall MBE and Honorary President of BDoY. John set up a driving competition as a reward for staff and to increase the focus on being a good driver. Two years later, the competition had developed and the bus industry became involved. Since then, it has been an industry competition. For quite a while, it was supported by the RTITB, the Road Transport Industry Training Board, which was very involved and provided a lot of sponsorship.

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